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, 17 states have passed restrictive voting laws, 17 states that have the potential to impact the 2012 presidential election. this accounts for 218 electoral votes, 80% of the votes needed in order to win the presidency. let me just say my mother taught me when you change the rules in the middle of the game it's called cheating. there is no place in our democracy to put an onerous burden on the american people, eligible citizens, to show up in the voting booth this fall to produce multiple forms of id. i know my other panelists can add to this. in 2000, when i managed al gore 's campaign, my own sister who at that time lived in florida at produced not one, not two, but
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three forms of voter i.d. just to get a provisional ballots. i told everett betty -- i told everybody that regardless of what they tell you, i want to urge everybody to show up with everything you can produce -- a driver's license, birth certificate, boater registration card -- anything, and utility payments. this fall, we will see hurdles we have not seen since 1965, and this is something that should bother all of us. dr. king in 1957 gave one of the guest server -- one of the best sermons he gave, and that is give us a ballot, so we can fill the legislative halls of men and women with good will, so we can fill our judicial benches with people who will act justly. unfortunately, this fall we will
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have a hard time in some of these states getting the ballot to eligible citizens so they can cast their vote for the presidency and other positions. >> bring back utility bill, even if you have not paid it. [laughter] bring the bill. >> it is proof. >> understand all laws are changing, but the question is, does it constitute racial discrimination? why is this racial? why do you have to show up with i.t.? >> it is a discrimination because in any number of segments of our groups have talked about the disproportionate impact it has on african-americans and latinos. three things we need to be clear on, because what we have been doing, a tour, we have done 11 states on the order id, with the
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double and -- naacp and the urban league. we are not against the identification. we are saying have the same id this year that you had when reagan ran an clinton rand and busch ran. people need to be clear. we're not against i.t.. beard against the new restrictive voter i.d., because they say we want to open up the polls. we are saying there has been no fraud. the justice department has determined a small amount of fraud. this is a solution looking for problems. is it disproportionate on us, that a black and latino on the elderly. a man said i am 85 years old. i lived 27 miles from where you have to go get the restrictive
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state i.d. i do not try because i am too old. i do not have a passport because i'm not going anywhere. to do this will cost me $27 and the transport to go in. that is a poll tax, and we cannot have seniors in a position with a fixed income where they cannot get the id and a vote is denied. this will cause potentially 5 million votes. if you looked in congressman state, where we wer oneon by a low proportion of votes in north carolina, shaving off 100,000 votes in the states could turn this election. secondly, when you look at congressman john lewis, they paid the price for us to vote, i think don is right. we need to have a two-pronged
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strategy. we need to do everything we can do to vote this year, so where we can turn around in states like ohio and michigan, we can still but because if they can take no right to vote, and stand it up against -- and get beat like john lewis and jose williams, what excuse do we have that we cannot get a couple id's and go to paul? we cannot be that lecherous and lazy that we cannot do what we have to do this november. as much as we are outraged about it, we need to have a strategy that we are born to be protected and the deal with it. lastly, i am glad you brought this up, because i am conservative. i am trying to conserve the voter rights act. i am trying to conserve the
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civil rights act. the radicals are those that are trying to have a radical departure from what made this country great. we are trying to conserve the country. others are trying to turn the country back, and we are not going back. [applause] >> we will let our conservative members of the panel jump in, and just be clear, i was just teasing both friends of mine. we're grateful to have them on the panel. this is a nonpartisan event, caucus, designed to come up with issues and answers rather than engage in partisanship that has undermined progress. reverend sharpton mentioned the law, the lawmakers we have in the room. we have emmanuel cleaver, gwen moore, hank johnson. let us give them a warm welcome.
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also round of applause for another. i would like to go to the three lawmakers on the panel right now, because what this has become in some ways is an abstract argument, and ideological argument where people are not clear up what is at stake. what i would like to representatives to talk about is what kind of issues are voters in your districts dealing with right now with regard to the vote? >> seniority. >> john. >> first of all, the issue of being able to vote, being able to participate in a democratic process should not be a partisan issue. the right to vote, the right to participate, to cast a vote, as i said before and so many times, it is precious. almost sacred.
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people died for this right. people stood in lines, and in another. in our history, people at the past a literacy test. the number of jellybeans in a jar. there were black lawyers and black doctors, college professors, teachers, ministers, lawyers, who were told they cannot read and write well enough. we thought we solved that issue with the voters act in 1965. why are we talking about the past? because if we fail to remember the past, we will repeat the history. we do not want to go back. we want to go forward. that is what we must do. it is not just a southern thing.
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a lot of people think it has happened in alabama, mississippi, in georgia, north carolina, south carolina. but what is going on in pennsylvania? it is a shame and disgrace. is an affront of the voting rights act of 1965 and that democratic process, and we must not allow it to happen on our watch. [applause] i will tell you, reverend al, that if we allow what is about to happen in pennsylvania and happened, maybe 700,000, 900,000 people will be denied the right to cast a ballot. we cannot let that happen. the only thing i did during the
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1960's, i gave a little blood for the right to vote, and i tell you -- [applause] some of my friends and colleagues, three young men i knew, it gave their very lives. and for us, whether black or white, latino, asian-american cannot native american, to be silent and not make some noise, and that is why in a few days some of us are going to march to these polling places, to the board of elections, and we are going to dramatize the issue once again all across america, where we have african-american members of congress. we must do it, and we will do it. [applause] >> congressmawoman, fudge, what
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is going on in your district in particular with regard to this issue? >> i am from ohio, which everyone knows is ground zero for what is going on in this country. we have a secretary of state who has done everything possible to try to restrict our ability to vote, taken away the weekend voting, taken away longer hours, which we had in the primary this year. as created so many issues, and we have taken to court and basically wonb. what people need to understand is if we cannot get our vote out, this election could change significantly in the state of oaxaca. our battle not only is to educate people on what they need to vote, but more importantly, that they got to get out and vote. we can make sure that people are educated. that is not our issue. we now forced our state
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legislatures to do away with voter i.d.. in ohio you can still use your utility bill, whether it be your driver's license or other form of id that is appropriate. that is not a problem in ohio. a bigger problem is african- americans have historically been to it on the weekends. they took away weekend boating. churches on sunday would bring buses to the polls on sundays, especially the weekend before the election, so what did they do? they took away sunday voting. we got sunbaked voted the weekend before the election, but let me make clear why it is such a major problem. a 25% of african-americans a photo i.d., 25%. according to the brandon center, african-americans have driver's licenses at half the rate of whites. only 22% of black men aged 18 to
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24 have a valid driver's license. you think this is not a big deal? this is a big deal. not only are minority voters less likely to possess an id, but they are also more likely than white voters to be selectively asked for an id when people say this does not affect the african-american population, someone -- something is amiss. when you look at a lot across the country, and let's take texas, which is what we use a lot. in texas, you can use a hunting license as an official form of id to vote. you cannot use your student id. that you know who they want to vote and who they do not want to vote. it is very clear that across this country they are making it easier. there is not problem, if there is fraud and the process, it is absentee. people do not go to the polls and pretend they are somebody
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they are not. what did they not change? absentee ballots. that is the weight most people of means and republicans vote is absentee. >> the one thing that can cause fraught is the one thing that -- that something is important when people try to take it from us. people never try to take anything from you that is not the poor. understand that if they tried to limit our ability to shape our own futures and like our own history, we cannot let them do it and we cannot go back. thank you. [applause] >> congressman watts? >> i knew you were going to get to me at some point, but i am anxious to hear our friends on the far right and their response on this.
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>> so am i.. >> of want to talk about north carolina, though, because north carolina illustrates why this is so critically important, the boat, and who be vote for is so critically important, because we had a democratic governor. we had a governor who vote -- who vetoed the voter i.d. law, and that has made all the difference in north carolina, because we still have on the books what we had on the books for years ago, and a years of of cantwell a years ago, and 16 years ago. we're not dealing with that. i am anxious to hear the response and i know you will throw it to them next. i will set the stage for you. when i think of voting rights, in addition to john lewis. i
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think of all of those long lines that i saw in south africa. people standing in line. not a single registration was required. the whole idea of requiring people to register to vote in my estimation has always been undemocratic, right? [applause] now, we're not talking tout presenting i.d.'s vote. they were just showing up. this is a basic democratic right that we should be insisting on the, and i do not know what this class is about presenting a identification.
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our problem is not people showing up try to fake to get the right to vote. our problem is not showing up and not showing up trying to not try to but. that is the problem we're facing in this country. we ought to be encouraging participation, not doing something to discourage. >> are you suggesting -- would you advocate no registration? >> i would, but i did not want to get into that discussion. in this day of technology, we ought not be requiring people to register. we ought not be requiring that they be in the state that they vote in. none of that -- we can track people. if we can find somebody in
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pakistan -- we can figure out whether somebody is eligible to vote without them having to march down with a damn utility bill. [applause] >> i did not want people to think that you were saying that you did not want any kind of tracking system. you just do not want a formal process. >> can i intervene? i agree with my colleagues and friends from north carolina, mr. watts. it is so important, and everybody should understand what congressman watts is saying here. as far back as 1963, at the march on washington, august 28, 1960, 50 years ago next year, we came up with a slogan, one- person, one-vote, and that was the slogan that was the cry of
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young people going south. the only qualification would be that age and residence, nothing more and nothing less. we are going backward. in a democratic society, we shou open up the process and let people come in. and not try to keep people out. that is what we should [indiscernbile] >> that is a conservative pick principle we just did come i think. >> i will go to the experts on that. you have been hearing this. first question for me is, is there any dispute to the idea that this is a rationalized
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discriminatory policy that is being implemented now? >> thank you for the invitation to come and the opportunity to interact with all of you. this is a very important discussion that we need to have. when i listen and as a student of history, and now a lawyer, i recognize that if it were not for the efforts of john lewis and many pioneers of the the civil rights era, we would not be sitting here having this discussion, given their breviary -- bravery. when you ask dr. hill this question or is this overtly discriminatory, i go back and give you a few years to think about. in 2005, jimmy carter and former secretary of state james baker shared a commission looking at federal election reform. one of the key recommendations these gentleman made was that we must have a federal voter at the vacation card to ensure the
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integrity of the ballot box and the electoral process. i move forward three years later to the year 2008. in 2008, united states supreme court took up this very issue of is a discriminatory to have a voter i.d.? does immortalize people who are less well off and are of color? does it meet constitutional muster? this was a 6-3 decision. this was not a stacked court. it was not a biased court, that was written by the hard-core right winger john paul stevens. i say that facetiously, of course read what they said was that it was constitutional. it was legal, and it was proper for indiana to institute a voter i.d. system. it was proper that a republican legislature had decided to enact
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this. and that while democrats have complained and said this was an overtly partisan that the, the court also said that that is part of the electoral process, and that is why citizens vote in representatives who make those decisions. the third date i would come up with is the year 2012, this very year we're in right now. earlier this year, the richmond times dispatch issued an editorial that said i would like micro served medium rare. -- i would like my crow served medium rare parrot they had strong opposition to the voter i.d. loss in virginia, and they thought they were caught it disproportionately impact people of color. in april 8 issue that editorial, because they said virginia did have a problem, that there were 10 felons convicted who were
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found to have voted illegally, and also in april of this year, in a statewide report, they found 50 people in virginia who voted illegally. the newspaper said that this was not a problem in search of the solution or the solution in search of a problem, but that this was very real. is this racialization? these voter i.d. lost are designed specifically to allow people to have the confidence and the integrity of the ballot box that has been upheld by a supreme court. no, dr. hill, i do not think this is a racialization. >> in your answer, i would like you to -- i want to put this forward. when you look at the data that suggests that when these laws get implemented, fewer black
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people vote. how is that not on its face and rationalized -- a rqa alized thing? >> my mom tells me these things, because they may be the woman i m, a careless woman to have a different opinion that sit here before you and say that i do not think martin luther king fought for us to be in the year 2012 to be told that blacks cannot. i remember my mother telling me when she was a little girl she had to go to a segregated beach and had to sit on the side and watched the white people sunbathe, watch the white people enjoy the beauty of the ocean and the sun, while she and her family did it together blankets
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to have a candidate to protect themselves under. i remember my dad talking to me about when he went to the medical college of virginia, the only black to integrate this dental class. his white colleagues got better grades than him. this did not deter my father. he pressed on and begin a great dentist and still practices today. when we were little, my parents built their dream home in richmond, virginia. in a subdivision where they thought that would have access to a country club. i was in grade school, and my parents were told they could not swim -- the kids could not swim at the poll, we could not play tennis because we were black. a sued the country club and their case went all the way up to the virginia supreme court. they've won , not said we could swim in the poll that the white people swim in, they won said
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that my knee and my brother could coup and fight what they thought was right. this is not jiving voter i.d. laws. voter i.d. laws are not jim crow. i want to go back to the stats that respectfully congressman but i like it. 89% of americans have the proper id to vote. whose fault is it that 25 percent of black americans cannot get an id? whose fault is that? when others seem to get i.t.'s, and did you know into the estimate, when the supreme court ruled on indiana possible voter i.d., they the out into the constitution, and guess what -- after the law was pass in indiana and georgia, minority participation in the electoral
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process increased for blacks by 40%. in georgia, in 2010, when the republicans were experiencing a blacks guess what -- or black increase turnout by 40%. why have universities found that none of the voter i.d. laws have deterred people from the polls? i find it hard to believe and i am tired of being talked down to as a black woman and being told what i cannot do. our message needs to be what is wrong with 11%? they need to get an id to vote, because of voter fraud occurs. in colorado, in 2010, 5000 non- citizens voted. in a tight race minnesota, that race was won by three had a 12
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votes. 217 of those votes -- 170 of those votes have been found to be fraudulent, and those individuals have been convicted. 66 are now being prosecuted. that was a vote, the senatorial seat in minnesota, after al franken one, that was the vote ""obamacare." if we check voter i.d.'s, we would know the kind of thought that was occurring. >> the civil-rights leaders are about ready to jump out of their chairs. >> i will be very brief. >> we have to move this along. i will let the congressman gophers. >> i do not know if anybody here
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said we cannot do something. the question is why shouldn't we? >> why shouldn't we? >> no one here is saying we cannot. all must have overcome something in our lives. that is not the issue. we fought a battle for equality and justice a long time ago. if we cannot stand up for now, our children and grandchildren will be fighting for it. whose fault is it that people did not have i.d.? my grandmother's birth certificate is my bible. it was in the bible. these young people to live in new york and philadelphia, they did not even drive, so why did they need a driver's license? they take public transportation. a lot of them did not have jobs. disabled people to not try. why do they need an id? we have to look at those who
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have been singled out in this process. it is poor people, the elderly, disabled, people who historically vote democratic. is predetermined. >> i will let reverend sharpton respond. >> first of all, we can have different opinions, but we cannot have different facts. >> where were my facts wrong? >> i did not interrupt you one time. >> will let everyone respond. >> the indiana case, that the supreme court ruled, was not the same id alaws that we are dealing with in pennsylvania and other states. you are acting as though one d. law. a uniform i.t.
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we have state-by-state laws. if in fact as ron christie said, they have a national federal ip law, you could say that. we're talking about different wetes, different bllaws, should not act as though the supreme court ruling said that. a texas federal court just said it is discriminatory the id laws that they put in texas into a dozen 12. that is one. that is a fact. when we talk about people that were foreigners voting, that has nothing to do with people with american-born, id laws. saying people can fraudulently vote, ip law will not protect that. you're mixing apples and oranges. why does the 11% have their
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id? why change the rule of the game in the fifth inning? nobody, when you change the state's loss, most of the early this year, the game was already on for this election. we're not talking about changing something later. we're talking about changing something now. people cannot vote now that could have voted in the last election, and that is changing the game mid-game, and did not blame people for not being prepared or saying that you change the role. if we had a 12-round fight and in the middle of the fight, you want to change it to a rents, you have shaved off four rounds. did not tell me we are not prepared. why did you change the game? [applause] >> i want to echo.
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reverend sharpton said he wanted to deal with facts. i did bring a couple. in two dozen blood and only -- in 2011 only two states passed these laws. you have to show the other proof of citizenship. those laws are changing state by state. bridgett get as issued photo identification to residents who do not have all of the other forms of id that is required to get a "non-driver's license permit." in louisiana, you have to show up with all the proof of citizenship. haves anybody heard about
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hurricane katrina? the fact is that you have not to not only show up with the proof of citizenship, show up with $39.50. 11% of the american people are any 5 billion citizens without proof of identification. many do not have resources, or they did not have anyone who can drive them at the local dmv in order to get the proper form of id. >> i promise to give you both the chance to respond. we have our google hangouts in six cities. will you give them another round
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of applause? give them some love. each of them -- three of them have a question, so we will go to our first question. i want you to jump in an extra question. >> hi, i am a ph.d. candidate at texas state university. my question is for ms. wright. and mr. christie. >> go ahead. >> with the recent federal court decision in texas blocking the law required voters to show voter i.d., it was ruled it was imposed strict and unforgiving bordens on poor minority voters. prior to this ruling, a gun owner would be able to use the gun license to vote, but i would
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not be able to use by student id. my question, first, do you think this ruling will provide equal opportunity for poor minority voters? second, if it was not upheld, would it be fair that a gun owner would be able to use his id but i would not be able to use mind to vote? >> that is a good question, right in the rhythm of what we are talking about. >> that may address this, an excellent question, something that reverend al and i will agree with. at the indiana case pape the way to allow states to craft their own voter i.d. laws. i have and not a problem with texas and what they try to do. it is true that they have convicted 50 people of voter fraud in texas, but i have looked at the statute and look at the burden.
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texas requires you to pay a certain amount of money to receive this id. i think the i.t. should be free if the state is going to require it. >> the state of texas also has put a system in place that the voter i.d. office is only open from 9:00 to 6:00 and not open on weekends. this has a disproportionate impact on people and makes it difficult for people to get the id. third, many of the states where they say there is no one who has been aggrieved, nobody has been hard, in texas they had a gentleman who proved he would have to drive three hours in one direction to that office, three hours in another direction to go back, and could not take off his job. the texas statute is discriminatory against lower- income people. >> really fast, part of our lightning round.
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[indiscernbile] we are making their responses. >> if you are making them shorter, we agree. >> thank you. >> we agree. what we did not talk about is that many of the state offered and tennessee offers free transportation. that should be in the state law, free i.d., how do we get transportation for people who need it. with respect to virginia, i want o go back to virginia's law,
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you can bring more than a forms of id, utility bill. you do not have to have a driver's license, and what the state in virginia, they mailed to everyone..'s they are not photo id's. i have a problem with the way the debate is being frank as racial. when black americans want to travel, when they want to buy over-the-counter drugs, prescriptions, you can boo me until the cows come home, we can find an id. all of us can agree that more americans need to get engaged in the electoral process. >> we have to move along. >> is not the i.d. all had multiple forms, but it is the pacific type of i.d.
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you have to have a government- issued photo id,/ >> some people allow medicare and medicaid as acceptable forms. if we had a national voter i.d. law, fine, but we don't. going back to the reverend's comment, the supreme court is the law of the land, so when texas and the other states who have been denied take their case to the supreme court, they will look at the indiana -- at what was passed in 2008, by 6-3, and they will say that as pres cedent. >> the state decided on the indiana case, it was
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constitutional for them to establish i.d. they did not say that all those states -- >> let me finish. you misrepresented what i was saying. >> hold on. [indiscernbile] >> the supreme court is the law of the land. >> here is what we are going to do. >> there were voter i.d. laws -- >> everybody, hold on. i am calling a timeout. i suspect never sharpen will agree but it time we leave here. i will give crystal 30 seconds,
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and i really mean 30, to state her point. i want reverend sharpton to respond. i would like others to respond in that order. >> 30 seconds, ok. what you want me to respond to? >> go ahead. you were trying to assert a point -- >> reverend sharpton? >> my response, the supreme court decision that indiana had the right to set loss did not say that therefore, whatever state sets laws are not discriminateory. >> that is not what i said. >> you said the supreme court -- nobody is arguing that.
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the decision has nothing to do with the laws we are doing now. these laws are subsequent to that decision. >> what i said was the supreme court sets precedent. went texas and florida, if they decide to appeal and we will have some of these voter i.d.'s were justices have bought, they will go to the supreme court and look at the indiana case as precedent. is this not mean that indian applies all the other states. that is not what i said. >> got to put a pause there pretty quick. >> we spent an enormous amount of time on photo i.d., and that
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is a very big issues, but there is another issue, and that as early voting. the district -- voter registration, those rules have also changed. we need to make sure before we leave here we know all the changes that have been made in the middle of the game of the last few months so that every american is prepared to go to the polls with the knowledge and information so they can cast their ballots and hopefully have their ballots count. >> absolutely. congressman? >> i want to make a distinction here so everybody is clear, because we have heard all this stuff about a vacation is required for this, and last time i checked, there was no constitutional right to drive a car, to go to a nightclub, to do all of these things that you all are talking about.
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there is a basic democratic right to vote. and for you to lump this together misses the point, in my opinion. >> i want to go back to our hang out. welcome. >> hi, i'm from chicago, illinois, and i'm a senior staff attorney at the asian-american institute. according to the u.s. census bureau, 32% of asian-americans are limited english proficiency and have trouble communicating in english. getting these boater ids we're talking about now, a difficult thing to get for our community. in 2006, the congressional black
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caucus working with the agent- american caucus and the hispanic caucus helped pass the reauthorization of the voting rights act. the bidding voting to english only was something that conservatives pushed for, and congressman lewis, you were instrumental in defeating this efforts. thank you. [applause] through coalition building, the congressional black caucus has done good work, but there is a long way to go, and my question is, and what way can the african-american community continue to work but other communities to increase access to voting for all americans, including new americans with limited english ability, latinos and asian-americans? >> let me respond, because i want to agree with the questioner. john lewis, in the
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reauthorization of the voting rights act, he was off the charts in advocating for this kind of equality, he gave us the credibility we needed an historical credibility that we needed to really drive home how important this was. we addressed this english wang please -- english language think in the voting right act to require jurisdictions to print their ballots in different languages. that is a basic provision of the voting rights act. i think as opportunities present themselves, we will continue to avail ourselves of opportunities to coalesce with not only african-americans, but hispanics, asians-americans, disabled, elderly, people who really have challenges complying
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with these i.t.d. laws, getting to the polls, because we think boating is such a basic part of o r democracy that this is suc absolutely critical. >> congressman lewis, i want to go to you about that question, and i think back to the victory of the civil rights movement. when you think about 1965, you think about black folks a cheating for themselves, their white workers who were able to get jobs, and it seems to me that in this struggle we see the same thing at the same time black people are leading the
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charge to make sure we protect the vote, disabled people are getting access, women are getting access, linguistic minorities are getting access. this is in a section of getting blacks the right to vote, but is setting the nation free. how essential is that struggle to rock history? >> i have been sitting here and contemplating a and it makes me sort of sad, really, that we are having this discussion, all these many years later, that we are fighting some of the same battles we thought we had onwon, but were behind us. maybe another generation 50 years ago had to go to the same thing, but the civil rights movement was a coalition of conscience. not just a black folks. it was for all americans. maybe 150 years ago, lincoln,
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maybe he did free his slaves, but the civil rights movement ation. free natioa n that is what we must continue to do. that is what the members of the black caucus and what people are trying to do -- when we stand up and fight, we're not just fighting alone, we really believe -- i have been trying to be very nonviolent today, really. [laughter] i'm fine, but we really, truly believe we are one people, that we are one family, that we are one house, the american house, the world house. it was said over and over again, maybe our forefathers all came to this great plant in different ships, but we were all in the same boat now. cpeople must learn that.
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it is not just african americans, but also asian- americans, latinos, native americans, and white people. they must learn that they are in the same boat. that is what this election is so important. they want to end early voting, whatever it takes, we got to get out there and vote like we never ever voted before. we got to do it. >> on that note, i want to change gears a little bit and ask the question, once we get people to the polls, what are they voting for? what are the issues? what are the struggles? what are the assessments? what are the laws we want to see enacted, changed, or held on to? what does the future look like?
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those are the big things. she said it those are different questions, and i agree. what are we going to do -- what are we voting for? >> first thing people need to realize is when they call it politics, a term that is familiar, it affects every single part of our lives. it affects your educational system, whether your roads get fixed, quality of the food you eat, everything we do, so why would we not want to have some input into the people who are making decisions about our very daily lives? that is the first thing. secondly, a lot of young people in particular and some elderly people are now saying why are we going to vote? it does not make a difference. if you want for somebody to make decisions for you forever, do not do it, but if you decide
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you want to make decisions that might help your mother or your father or grandfather or your eda or your uncle or children or grandchildren, you need to be part of the process, because if you opt out, somebody will fill that void, and nine times out of 10 and will not be people who care about you. >> i wanted to the other side and say, ron, what are we voting for? >> i think congresswoman budget is right. it does not matter whether you're republican, democratic, independent, you are going to the ballot box and exercising your constitutional right to elect leaders at best represent you at the state, local, and federal government. i get tired of people who say my vote does not matter or to make a difference anyway. yes, it does. that is exactly what we have the voting rights act of 1965 to ensure that people regardless of the color of their skin or religious background or ethnicity at that cherished
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right to go and exercise their franchise. that is exactly what we're voting for. it is who is on to represent you in your town, state, federal government, and in this election, or than any, it is critical that everyone goes out and has not only the opportunity to come to make sure your neighbors, friends, and people who might might not have the ability to go to the polls, that you take them with you. the lightningg in round now. >> i was gone to agree with the congresswoman and my esteemed colleague about voting. >> reverend sharpton, what should we make of the last four years? in 2008, it was very easy. blacks voted in record numbers. they had high hopes. four years later, i did not ask for a report card as such, but how have we progress in the last four years? what is the challenge in getting people to come back to the
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polls? >> if we are on to gain from where we are, we have to start from where we were. i think what many of us are measuring from where we want be down, rather from where we were up, four years ago, we were on the brink of an economic disaster in this country. four years ago we were dealing with the country that was engaged in two wars that were draining this country. four years ago we had no health care for millions of americans, and our community had a disproportionate number of people with pre-existing conditions that could never get health care. so, for years later, we are out of our -- the auto industry was saved. we were those auto workers. four years later we have a health care plan where we have
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preexisting conditions. we were able to turn around a ship that was going over the cliff. has the ship come back to dock, no, but it is headed away from the dock. the question is, do we become angry and disappointed that we are not at the beach yet in our trucks sunbathing, that we let the folks that are driving us over the cliff get back this during of that ship or do we keep the people that took us back off the brick and trust that day at these are headed in the right direction where we need to go? i think that a lot of us measure wrong in our opinion. the other thing is that we were caught up, and rightfully so, in history in 2008, and wanted to make a first president of color. it was historic. when a look at today, when we
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are talking about eliminating things like the affordable care act, where we have children with asthma and pre-existing conditions, where we are looking at jobs bills cannot get pas sed, in my judgment, 2008, was a star, 2012 is personal. they're trying to take away from us some personal things, so offensively, the president has done a good job, but even defense of a, i do not want the team that almost took me over the brink to come in and bring me back to the brink. [applause] >> we have a question for representative when mogwen moor. >> i heal from the great state of wisconsin. currently, we have our the voter i.d. laws that have been
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enjoined by two separate courts in wisconsin. my question is to mr. christie, and i'm very happy to meet you in person. >> that is two of us. >> both you and ms. wright have stipulated that you do not think that this is a racial thing. i wanted to step back and say, do you see this as being a problem of class? the right to vote does not stipulate that you have to be middle class in order to vote. if you are a homeless person and you do not have an address or do not have an electric bill, whether you have paid for it or not, or if you are like my granddaughter who is going to be 18, on october 26 and does not have a bill to present to vote,
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or like me, i got -- but i did not have the kind of idea that is required under wisconsin law that has been enjoined until i was 30. that is one of the 47 cents we have heard about. i did not have a bank account. i did have a student i.d., but it did not have an expiration date on it. but i am saying, if you live in rural america or if you are elderly or if you are in class where you do not have a car and you live 27 miles away from the dmv or you live in milwaukee where the only dmv that is open and is 80 miles away, and i have lived in the home that i have lived in for 20 years, but if you are poor and you move every three months, because you are being ejected because you cannot pay your rent, you still have a fight -- a right to vote >> your
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question is if this a class question? >> let me finish this and i will shut up, i promise. if the elections commission were to send me my voter registration card at the house i had lived in for 20 years, i will receive it, but if i had been effected, for nonpayment of rent, i would not receive that card necessarily, but i still have a right to vote. what do you say about class argument that this might disenfranchise people of all kinds of colors who are not middle-class? they are homeless, poor, and so forth. >> you raise some very critical questions that must be addressed. overall, it's very easy for us to say you have the means and opportunity to go to the dmv or vote by absentee and there's no
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issue. but many of these states need to address very specifically people who, as you and i would agree, i have to travel long distances to obtain a card or people who moved frequently, does that put some sort of restriction on their ability to vote? i'm not going to wholesale saved up wide and cinder that all the -- wholesale say that hook, line, and sinker, if these laws have a disproportionate effect that absolutely we need to make sure that does not make a situation where people are disenfranchised. [applause] >> i agree with you with the homeless and extenuating circumstances which reminds me -- i was reading about pennsylvania's lot and a gentleman said he has been homeless for a number of years but takes a private carrying around his social security card
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a birth certificate because that connects him with the world wants to be a part of again. i know it's a struggle and i agree that we have to look at ways and some of the voter i.d. laws have affidavits were you can go to officials at in extenuating circumstances like what are you late -- there are ways to say i am who i am and can i sign the affidavit to the effect that i could vote? people who have not had a home should not be disenfranchised on economics. >> i'm probing -- >> i just want to add that some states offer free transportation and ideas that we talked about. >> we're going to move on. in terms of moving the
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conversation for word, what can we do to make sure more people have access whether it's based on class, race, ability status -- i don't want people to leave here feeling good hearing a lot of entertaining speakers but not knowing what to do when they walked out of this room. >> everybody in this room must confirm their voters that is before november 6. don't wake up on the morning of november 6 and say let me go check and make sure have the proper identification. in some states across this country, they're still trying to purge people from the voter rolls because of mobility issues. in denver, for example, the mayor said they're trying to purge people who did not vote in 2010. we know that was an issue in florida and luckily, the judicial branch intervened.
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educate yourself. you need to have a three part program right now -- confirm your voter registration status, confirm your polling site, and call somebody and ask them to do the same. don't take anything for granted. this year with over 48 states making minor changes, we need to go to the polls prepared to know that our name is on the voter registration rolls, are polling places not been changed, and if they give you a provisional ballot because a complication, please make sure that provisional ballot will be counted. many of you who are students in this room, it is time now to begin to request your absentee ballot because they have changed those rules. some of the may have to come up with an excuse why you need your
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ballot. i travelling, i'm out of state in school. i'm just warning everyone, the rules have changed overnight. >> we have a question from our google hang out. >> good morning. my name is richard and i'm a city councilman from the city of clarity and and a member of a political action committee of lamar valley with him some of our members are seated here today. my question is in relationship to the voter i.d. law and as it was stated quite well, the law was passed by the commonwealth court and that appealed and sent up to the supreme court. the supreme court heard a lot and kicked it back to the commonwealth court to say we
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have some problems with this lot and we want you to take another look at it and the judge again. my question is, what can we do as a group and a nation to rebuke this voter i.d. law in pennsylvania? the second part of my question is what federal support can we get at the voting rolls to assure compliance of voters' rights? i ask that of the entire panel. >> the entire panel will be able to answer in the interest of time but we will get some short answers from several members of the panel members. rev. sharpton, i want to start with you because you've been working hard on this issue for a long time. what are some of the things people can do and what are some of the things being done? >> i think that don is right,
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everyone should check their voting status and their families and we need to have every mass gathering and are communities, through churches, sororities, fraternities, to push that so regardless of whether we agree or disagree of the existing law, we maximize turnout under the existing law in these states said that while we fight the laws and the court, we don't lose the voters that have to come out. secondly, when need to organize to make sure we have poll watchers better working there. there are groups now organizing that are going to be at the polls. we need to be there to make sure even the letter of law we don't agree to is held to and that they are used in a way not cited in the law. lastly, i think it is very important -- i can't emphasize
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this enough -- the justice department has gone in and contested some of these laws on federal level. especially those under the voting rights act of 65, thanks to john lewis and martin luther king and others. south carolina, texas, the justice department has gone in and there have been federal moves where they could go with pre clearance. we need to be supportive of those lawsuits. but the court system takes awhile which is why we need to organize in spite of its unfairness and say i don't agree with this, i think it's unfair, but i'm going to show you i'm stronger than you think i am and i'm going to get this done so we can vote in big numbers. [applause] know, those who don't several congressmen are taking the lead on an anti-boater suppressing lead to protect and
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defend the rights to vote. we have heard about what we can do leading up to election day, but this is not a fight that's going to end in november. this will be a protracted struggle. what can citizens do post- november to make sure voter rights are protected? >> first of all, if people observe or see something that has happened that they thought was unfair, not just, and not right, they should reported. on election day, you can request federal observers. you can request certain counties in certain states and cities and towns to have federal observers to be there to observe the election process. >> i know this is not going to replicate the question -- i
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don't want us to -- i want us to focus on this election. it they're going to be a lot of legal battles, but a lot of these are not going to change before election day. we know we're going to have to continue to fight. in ohio, we've been to referendums and it's too late now. we have gone to court and told the secretary of state he's an idiot and he is. we've changed a lot of things to the courts, but it's too late to do any of that right now. right now, yet the focus of what we're going to do to make sure we get out and vote on election day. what my colleague was alluding to was on september 25, most of the members of the congressional black caucus will be having an event in their districts to bring attention not only to this issue, but to make sure people are registered and understand what they need to vote in their communities. if you are in a district that has a congressional black caucus
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member, september 25, everybody here should be engaged in that process. look for that. miss the't want to opportunity to look beyond the election. but looking to the election is looking beyond the election because this election is about a basic fork in the road, whether we are going to turn back toward the cliff reverend sharpton talked about or go back toward the shore where there is safety. the people who will be making these decisions beyond this election, we want to be sensitive to our positions. a lot of these issues, all of these issues are not day-to-day
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issues. they are long-term issues. the first thing we have to do is select the right people who will be making the decisions about those issues after the november elections. thatm glad you said because one of the things i wanted you to be able to do is to respond to the earlier question, which is where some of the issues we should be concerned about as we go into the polls and how can we assess that? we are one thing in the interest of time to get to the audience, but what are some of your initial thoughts. >> i want to come back to what congresswoman fudge said. she summed it up very well. on a very basic level, whether you are voting for that year civic organization or in d.c., we have area neighborhood
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advisory commissioners, i think is incumbent, regardless of your party affiliation, to know who and what you are voting for and how these people and their thought process are going to affect your pocketbook, where you live, how you think, where you go to church, all these things. it should happen i very local level, from a council level up to the president of the united states. i think what this election is about, if we're going to frame the debate with respect to black americans, to me, this election is about why is it that in 1960, we had 36% of black males who were incarcerated in 1960. i was reading the moynihan report, which the deceased daniel patrick moynihan wrote for president johnson about the state of black america as he
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sought in 1964. -- as he saw it in 1964. today, we have 55% of blacks in prison and in 1964, when he wrote this report to give to president johnson, he said the biggest thing he saw, the crisis affecting black americans was the breakdown of black families. at the time, yet 23% of black americans being born into -- you had a 23% of black americans being born into single-family -- single-parent families and today it is 73%. today, the issue is crime and why are so many black males being killed in chicago and philadelphia and the breakdown of the family. whoever you are going to vote for president or on the local level, you should ask how are these people affecting that?
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we will not have that economic prosperity as our white, asian or arguably hispanic counterparts until we deal with those things. i think this election should be about the issues facing us as black americans. >> it now time to take questions from the audience. we would look for you to come up to the microphones and ask your questions. i'm sure this would never happen at an event like this but i will in a perfunctory fashion say make these questions and comments, statements, the sales pitches, anecdotes. the secretary of the sons and daughters of colored troops. we're honoring the sesquicentennial -- >> ask your question, brother. >> question -- the last slave to
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serve in congress, congressman george henry white from north carolina, called for the reduction in representation of states that disenfranchise its black population. pending in federal court right now is gordon verses the clerk of of congress. i am the gordon. george henryhite, the last slave who serve asked to reduce the representation of states that would disenfranchise -- why is no civil rights organization trying to enforce the provision? what's that the great question.
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let's stretch it a little bit and say what kind of penalties should we think about as we try to enforce the protection of this vote, whether it's economic penalties -- what can we do to apply pressure on states that are doing this? >> is pending in court. if anyone here -- >> at the end of this, you can distribute fliers at the door. but i want to make sure we get a lot people in the interest of time. think one of the remedies for people doing wrong is to take away their rights. that's one of the things we have been talking about here. our challenge is to expand the ability of people and participate -- the whole premise of your bill is not one
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i would necessarily subscribe to. i'm not familiar with the bill, but to say that george white stood for that, i'm not sure that's what i would say he stood for. we honor george white in this legislative conference by awarding the phoenix award because he said we will rise up and come again and we have not risen up and we want to stay risen. >> 10 seconds, we're going to get a 22nd response. i respect your questions about marijuana. >> my name is howard and i make retired police officer from texas. disenfranchisement of those
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black population of this country with all due respect, reverend sharpton, their three wars in this country -- iraq, afghanistan, and a war on drugs which killed more african- americans and destroyed more families than the rest combined. why are we not discussing that there are hundreds of thousands, one-third of the black males in florida cannot vote because of a drug war prohibition conviction. thank you. >> i actually agree with him. to take away someone's constitutional right because they have been convicted of a crime or gone to jail for possessing pot -- we have not figured out how to address that at the federal level. all of these voting rights, including voter i.d. have been state by state by state because the constitution says the criteria for voting is set at
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the state level. we have not figured out an effective way to address that. >> i agree. >> there have been two executive orders that revoke the rights of citizens to have the right to vote, who have served their time in jail or prison and now they no longer have voting rights because -- >> in the war on drugs has incarcerated millions of people. >> it very brief, i'm an officer and the united states army. in 2003 and 2004, the soldiers were deployed at for various missions and one of the missions was to protect the iraqi people when they went to the polls to
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vote. the only requirement was to be an iraqi citizen. how is it you can say there is no discrimination or it's very easy to do with the only thing they had to do when they went to vote was to be an iraqi citizen and they went with their thumb print and they were voting? >> i appreciate your questions. >> she raises a good point and not to give my -- not to get my conservative colleagues agitated again call what i think is interesting is not only did they not ask for this in iraq, they never asked for boater id in any republican primary state. isn't it interesting? they're so -- if they are so concerned about fraud, why are they so concerned in november? they had at the iowa caucuses --
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they said romney won and they found out santorum won and they didn't say we had to have voter i.d.. it's only a november problem. i wonder why? >> maybe the democrats have all of the fraud on their side. >> responding to that question -- in iraq, they have to give you a fingerprint of your thumb with -- which traces you to somebody. i think trying to pupu this idea -- why did they want them to have a fingerprint? myi'm ready to surrender thumb. >> it was a way to identify people. >> let her finish. >> when you don't have a
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checking account at wells fargo, they make you give a thumbprint, right? why do they do it at the bank? fraud? they do it for fraudulent regions -- for fraudulent reasons. people have to give their thumb print before they cash a check. i'm just making an observation. >> why didn't you have a voter idea republican primaries? >> [crosstalk] >> everybody pay attention to me. for a minute. the question is why wasn't there a voter i.d. demand during that republican primary?
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i think that's a fair question. >> i think there should be. >> the question is -- i am being non-partisan here. why wasn't there one? >> i can't speak to that. all i said is that there should be a uniform system that president carter and secretary of state baker said it should be in place. i can't speak to why a state did or didn't pass something. >> i hope you can at least imagine -- i'm an objective moderator -- >> as an objective of moderator -- >> [crosstalk] >> why don't we take this question and the sister behind
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you pause question at the same time. >> peace and blessings. i'm an active is what the black united friends and malcolm x here in d.c.. i'm an activist and a student of history. one thing i've noticed is that black folks try to come together and continue to practice same tactics that has not worked for centuries. what he or some of the alternatives we can take to build a strong, black nation and america and around the world? >> other than voting? >> yes. i also feel black nationalism should be brought to the table. >> i was born in 1979. i wanted to ask anyone who is here during the civil rights
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movement what do you think our brother martin luther king would say today if he was on this panel? >> let's take one more. >> won a final question. >> i appreciate on my thumb is my phone bill and light bill and maybe they can do that on that. i am going to work extremely hard. i'm getting ready to get a young organization called young's legislators, but they need to know the truth. can you give me the statistics on the white folks? i'm so tired of these statistics given on black people in iowa. where are you doing the statistics? there are a lot of white people on unemployment, on welfare, but we never hear the numbers. comes up. >> we appreciate your thumbs up.
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what are some other strategies black folks should be deploying? in addition to voting. the second question -- what would dr. king say? >> john can tell you that. >> first of all, i knew martin luther king jr. very, very well. i met the man when i was 18 years old. if dr. king was here today, he would be grateful for the progress that was made. he would be grateful we elected president barack obama as president. but he would say to us that the election of barack obama is not the fulfillment of his reign. he would say it's only a down payment. -- fulfillment of his dream.
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he would also say we need to make some noise. the way we can be most effective is get up and take our butts to the polls on november 6 and vote like we had never voted before. that's what he would say. [applause] >> we have an opportunity for the next question to the answers -- to be answered -- we're going to answer this very tightly in 30 seconds -- what are some other strategies other than voting? >> john davis to said way because he says getting up off your butt is not just about voting. there is a quiet in the nation that was not there that laid the groundwork for progress in years past. we need to all be raising our voices, not only at the voting
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booths, but outside the voting booths. expressing ourselves in positive ways, and i think that's an important strategy. >> two-thirds of all jobs by 2020 will require a college education. education still is our passport out of poverty. [applause] >> absolutely. we're going to take another question -- >> my son just entered into north carolina nt. >> in my district. aggie pride. glad we got that out of the way. >> he will turn 18 while he is that college. he's not able to do an absentee vote. what we do in that case? he will be 18 in today's.
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>> and get him registered in north carolina. he will be a lot more help to us in north carolina that he will be in your state. [applause] give me his phone number i will call him and get them registered this week. [applause] >> i'm from philadelphia. i have an employment agency in philadelphia and right now we have many young people i know are going to be able to get idea and we're pushing for new voters, but the problem as our senior citizens. they are the super voters in philadelphia. they are almost 70%. if we cannot get them to be able to have that i.t., we have a big problem in philadelphia. -- if we can get them to have the id, when a big problem in the philadelphia. they said they could get the id
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for free and then they changed since we had people going to get the car's license and then come to find that the need to pay $20 and a lot of senior citizens -- >> i'm in philadelphia and we are organizing in doing a lot of work there. connect with me and i will tell you some of the big churches there. we are getting people out and we will do that. >> my grandmother is 103 years old. [applause] she doesn't have a birth certificate. last year, she did vote. she's been getting her social security check, what do you do in these cases? they know how to find you if they want a fine tooth. [laughter] >> i think you said it right.
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kevin johnson works a lot with us. but we need to get the id in their hands as we fight these pennsylvania laws. we should not just roll over. >> absolutely. of stand upresident for democracy and the d.c. corelate -- d.c. coalition, otherwise known as free d.c. i want to thank donna and reverend sharpton for putting d.c. statehood on the front burner. i want to thank them so much. i want ask how we can get the message out on a national level that they -- there are 620,000 barrel taxpaying residents in the district of columbia -- a federal tax paying residents in the district of columbia. that is a voter suppression number-one. >> we do have another special
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guest, house minority leader, nancy pelosi is here. please give her a warm round of applause. [applause] >> i give my 30 seconds to the amazing, phenomenal nancy pelosi. [applause] >> good morning, everyone. good morning distinguished panel. i was listening very attentively to the give-and-take between these zero very distinguished guests and the audience and all of you. it appears very clear that we have important work to do to protect our democracy in the
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weeks ahead. at the start of my remarks, i want to call the mind our dear, former deceased colleague, donald payne. [applause] he had a call to service that was about respecting the dignity and worth of every person, where that person lived in the world. he made us very proud of our country and of his service. i know he would be very proud and was of emanuel cleaver, are distinguished chair of the congressional black caucus and the cochairs of the legislative conference here. members of the congressional black caucus, we always refer to as the conscience of the congress.
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last year, you will remember that the weather change the time of the dedication of the rev. martin luther king memorial. it was in august and then moved to october. all right around this time, we were in the midst of that glow that we will continue always to be. dr. king talked about time and the fierce urgency of now. he talked about gradualism and how that should be avoided. glad thathat's -- i'm you are inspiring leaders and building generations. it's about time. everything we do is how we use the very finite quantity of time. reverend king -- imagine rev.
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martin luther king's memorial is there with lincoln, jefferson and washington, what the founders and preservers of this great american democracy. honor davao's of our founders and took them to new heights -- he honored the avowals of our founders. we're constantly inspired by him and draw strength from him. right now, today, we have a challenge that we must take the time to succeed with meeting and push-ford, this new generation and this new age of discrimination we must call a halt to. here is the way i see it, and i have other remarks, but listening to the panel and understanding what your major concern is, here is the way i see it. because that great wealth has been established in our country
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and the disparity of income has become almost a moral, there are some people who have so much money -- when i was young -- and when i say this to an audience in the last couple days, they don't know what i'm talking about -- but perhaps there is someone in the audience -- john lewis, you and i -- ho, ho, that's rich. they are so rich that they haven't the faintest idea what it's like, but we do. we are about reigniting the american dream. reigniting it. the past years before president obama took office, was a growing disparity. we must reignite the american dream and build ladders of opportunity for people who want to work hard, play by the rules, recognize the role of small business and entrepreneurship and a strong middle class. we have work to do to achieve
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that, especially since it is very clear that there are those who would snuff out the american dream. in this election, our names are on the ballot, the president's name is on the ballot, john lewis, mel watts -- our names are on the ballot. but what also on the ballot is nothing less than our democracy. our founders, they sacrificed their lives, their liberty and their sacred honor for a democracy, the government of the many, not the government of the money. [applause] these people with this big money, billions of dollars, their blatant. they say what difference does it make if i put $100 million on the table or 200300 -- or $200 million or $300 million into the
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election. i'm going to save billions of dollars on my estate tax. it's all a transaction -- my industry is going to have subsidies and my corporation is going to get tax breaks to ship jobs overseas. the sense of community is so fading, but we cannot allow that to happen. our strength is our vote and that's why that is under attack. they put and less money to suffocate the air out of the airwaves. suppress the vote, and poison the debate. the poisoning of the debate has as much to do -- and i know my colleague is under water working on this -- this has as much to do with boaters oppression. if people get turned off by the system, what do they do? they throw off their -- they throw up their hands and walk
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away. why don't you all just figured out. that's of history -- that's a victory for the special interests. poison the debate, make the discussion so unpleasant that when you hear something and you think why would anybody say such a thing? how could they even think it? they are poisoning the debate to turn off the electorate so they can have all for themselves and i say this with great sadness and with great regret. but that is what we are up against. as we protect the vote, it has to happen in advance, not just election day. it is about how you make sure voting officials live up to a standard, don't let them define what is about. we all do it together. that's a democracy. we make sure the rules are fair and if they are not, we don't
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agonize, we organize. we go out there and we make sure everybody with the eligible to vote is registered, has the id and is registered to vote and that their vote is counted as cast. counted as cast. preparation in advance, procedures on election day, and if we have to have a recount, that we are in a better position because we have shown a bright light on the election day process well in advance. early voting is our friend. they are trying to suppress early voting. why would people instead of wanting to remove obstacles of participation to voting in a democracy -- isn't that beautiful thing? why would they want to
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establish obstacles to participation? because they're afraid of the vote of the people. because it diminishes the power of their money, the power of the people making their voices known. nothing less is at stake in this election that our democracy. it is on the ballot. the great middle-class is on the ballot. medicare is on the ballot. all of this things are on the ballot in addition to our names. mel, marcia, john and i, we have to say -- we are on the ballot. we have to say i am nancy pelosi, mel watts, i approve this message. had these billionaires, their names are no where to be seen.
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but the public should know the special interests is weighing in at the expense of the people's interest. i'm closing on this there -- disclose -- i and john lewis, i approve this message, mr. big bucks, his sh -- his name should be on the ballot. transparency -- who is paying for this? amend the constitution to overturn citizens united. it must be done. it must be done. [applause] reform the system. in order to do that, we have to win. i'm not talking politically, but certain people have to win. public financing of campaigns. let diminish the role of money in campaigns. [applause] disclose, and then, elect
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reformers -- and then that, elect reformers. i promise you this -- lower the role of money in politics, you increase the stability by stopping the poisoning of the debates, lower the role of money, increased ability, elect more women, more minorities, more young people to public office. that's a very wholesome thing and it's in keeping with your inspiring leaders building generations for the future. thank you for what you are all doing in this regard. nothing less is at stake than what martin luther king start us so well. thank you very much. [applause] >> and about 45 minutes, we'll
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go to a live discussion on the economy and jobs hosted by the national association for business economics. that starts by that 2:30 eastern, here on c-span. >> the former virginia governor, tim kaine and former senator george allen faced each other and one of four senator rate -- one of four senate debates. the race is rated a toss up. >> he said 47 percent of americans are too dependent on government, they see themselves as victims. i ask you pointedly -- do you share that vision of america and what specifically would you do to deal with that 47%? >> as i said in the beginning, the best social program of all is a job. how do you provide more job opportunities for people -- >> do you think nearly half the country sees themselves as victims? >> i have looked very positively
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at the people -- >> you would part company with governor romney? >> would you disagree with governor romney? >> i have my own point of view. the people of america still believe in the american dream and our responsibility as leaders and public servants is to make sure this is a country where everyone has that equal opportunity to compete and succeed and pursue their dreams. july i look at it, and i will expand on that later in our debate, the point is look at the records. who has created more opportunities? i mentioned welfare reform -- those were folks who are down and out and we want to help folks they're able minded and able-bodied and even folks who are disabled who want to work. that's one of the great attributes and characteristics of all americans. they do look at themselves as victims. they want a government that reflects their values and gives them the opportunity to reach their aspirations and be the role model. >> take a moment for rebuttal.
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>> i don't think the question of whether the governor romney, whether you agree with him or disagree with his heart. it's very straightforward. there were divisive comments and we are a state that has seen too much divisive politics. >> moderated by nbc's david gregory, this debate is courtesy of wrctv in washington. watch the entire debate tonight at -- tonight at 8:00 on c-span. >> the first debate between presidential candidate mitt romney and president barack obama is next wednesday, october 3. jim lehrer moderates from the university of denver. watch our live debate preview starting at 7:00 eastern followed by the domestic policy debate at 9:00. post-debate, your reaction that comment. follow our live coverage on c- span, sees that radio and online at c-span.org. >> a quick reminder we will go
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live to the national press club in washington for a discussion on the u.s. economy and jobs hosted by the national association for business economics. that gets underway at 2:30 eastern. until then, a look at the latest on the regime in syria from today's "washington journal." host: we turn to the situation in syria next with david lesch. you have met with bashar al- assad. professor of middle east history. welcome. this is from "the washington times."
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host: who are these people? guest: there are many different fault lines. those fighting and dying on the ground inside syria. some are a little more religious. then you have those calling for the overthrow of the regime and those willing to negotiate with the regime. you have the rebel forces trying to find the center that can bring everything together against the regime. looking to draw outside support as well as the fence sitters that the not necessarily support the regime but do not see any viable alternative.
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host: what do you make of that headline? is that a good movement? guest: there have been many attempts to do this and most of them have failed. in order to succeed, and has to be decentralized. one head can be cut off by the regime. it has spread to different cities and outside the countryside. it is difficult to bring them together. there have been attempts to present themselves as a coherent whole. call for the regime have been there for about a year. host: let's talk about u.s. policy towards syria.
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the general assembly kicks off tomorrow. president obama will speak. this is the headline in "the washington post." "she helped rally support in libya." guest: it is an election year for president. there will not be any dramatic action until a new administration comes in. i think the administration has been cautious about this sort of intervention in syria, military intervention. libya and syria are apples and
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oranges. that complicates the diplomacy on a regional level. there have been calls to create the safe havens. that requires the no-fly zone. syria has a more advanced defense system that libya does not have. it is dangerous for any coalition to go in to establish a no-fly zones. even in libya it wasn't easy. it is a much more difficult situation in libya then syria. host: why the title for your book, "syria: the fall of the house of assad"?
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guest: i thought he would most likely be in power when the book came out. i got to know him pretty well. i met with them regularly. i had hoped that he would reform the country and would take it in a different direction. i think he was interested in that in the beginning. the authoritarian system changed him. when he unleashed the dogs on his own population, he had fallen. he could never return to that level of expectation that he had earlier. the mandate for the assads to
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rule was to provide security and stability for the country against perceived internal and external dangers forces -- israel, the united states. tore's been enough of that lend some credence to that notion. the syrian population made a bargain with the regime that they would give up some freedoms in return to stability. that was the mandate. that was legitimacy for the assads to rule. his policies have brought about instability and insecurity. he no longer has that legitimacy. in a broader sense, i think he has fallen.
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host: are western policy makers estimate that his fall is inevitable? guest: i have been contacted by a number of media outlets wanting a quotation on an obituary. every time they call, i would say it is premature. they have the willingness to stay in power. i think the west have backed off these predictions of imminent demise. every time there's a prominent defection, he is within days of falling and that has not happened. host: you write about the grip of power he and his family has had. guest: the military forces
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stayed loyal to the regime. they sink or swim together. that has not happened in syria nearly as much. there is still an asymmetry of power. the side doesn't have wherewithal to land a knockout punch against the other. unless there is an injection of something that on balance is the equation, i see this continuing in a long drawn-out still might and the continuing degradation of the country. host: let me read this part about assad.
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host: is see a puppet? guest: no, he is not a puppet at all. his father had to do that and bashar has to do that. he is the most powerful person in the country and in control. tell me he bemoaned the fact that he ordered about 1000 decrease and only four or implemented. things just don't get done very quickly in syria. he has to work around these things, particularly in a situation like this. he has to work with military security forces.
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there are powerful factions who have swayed his opinion on various items. he is still responsible. host: what about his brother and his brother in law? guest: he is powerful right now. the institutions of war elevate. the national security apparatus is influential. he might be the most influential. there is some dispute as to how much influence he has over his brother. he is very popular over the militias. the brother in law had been influential and had been
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somewhat marginalized in recent years. the security solution, he seemed to be elevated until he was killed over the summer in that attacked. host: what about bashar al- assad might surprise people? i read he became an eye doctor because there's no blood involved. guest: i asked that same question. he said there was precision in it. you can do something -- they can't see and then they can see. he liked that precision and efficiency. that is the exact opposite of being the ruler of syria.
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he has been so frustrated over the years in trying to make the syrian government more efficient. it is a difficult task. host: we have a tweet from a viewer. guest: hmm. that is a good question. our policy of watch and see -- we're hoping we get a better sense of what is happening in syria so that we did not help al qaeda. we do not want to go blindly into syria, much as we did in afghanistan when light on we have very little understanding of the dynamics. it has led to the creation of the taliban. i think that experience as
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compelling as to be much more careful. we are trying to determine who these different factions are, who we can help try to find out which groups are more influence. there is a lot we do not know. i think that is what i said about predict caution. it is more complicated. he talked to a top syrian officials. >> first of all, good morning. thank you for taking my call. i would like to say the united states is very proud entity. its military is one of the greatest in the world.
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it is the great dispirit it has never taking a loss. any human being is a loss. he receives orders from the pentagon. then he does this thing. >> five this to syria. >> most of those people there have been against the united states for quite some time. host: let's take that point. guest: that is a good point. most of the opposition is against the bashar al-assad regime. it is not a guarantee they would leap into the lap of the united states. many in the apposition have been anti-israeli and anti- united states. there are many in the opposition who want the u.s. to get more involved and becoming frustrated with the u.s. not
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engaging more assertively. there is some tension there. i think the united states is trying to help some group coalesced into an organization that is representative of the syrian people more broadly and that is a viable alternative to the outside regime. we just would be shooting in the dark and that could cause more problems than solutions. host: this is from c-span junkie. guest: we are indirectly arm the rebels. we have supported other countries such as qatar and
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clandestinely sending arms into syria. there is a nonprofit group based in washington which is a funnel for support and funding from private sources that are going to various syrian opposition groups. the whole funny thing is very murky. there is a great deal of funding grown through turkey and other avenues that is not getting to the rebels. there are a organizations and private donors from saudi arabia and kuwait who are giving support to syria and tends to
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bypass some of the "official mechanisms" based in turkey and going directly to the militias and groups on the front lines. $100 of every $100 gets in their hands. as in any insurgency, you follow the money. if the funding organization is in the more conservative sunni arab states, you're going to protect yourself as a more infamous ideological hope in order to attract those funds. i see that as happening right now. the question of money in general -- the u.s. is officially not sending arms to the opposition. host: robert is on the air. caller: yes. i have always been struck that in the whole moslem world, there is only one country in
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which the population is majority sunni and the rulers are a minority shiite, and that's the case of syria. it struck me that the most influential -- a splinter group of the shiites, not too unlike -- they -- extreme al qaeda being a splinter group of the sunnis.
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guest: that is the minority sect of about 10% of the country. bashar would not be able to survive with just their support. other minorities and the christian that make up the 9% and many secular sunni arabs, they have co-opted into supporting the regime. the majority of the population is about 65% sunni arab. rest are sunni kurdish. the vast majority is sunni kurdish. they have used tactics over the years to stay in power. those tactics have caused the tensions with newt
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circumstances of the arab spring into this rebellion. with the al qaeda types, they are resolutely committed to exterminating basically the other group. this is one of the problems. as the rebellion continues to devolve and becomes more of a sunni muslim tinge to it, they see this as an is essential battle that if they lose their will be wiped out and that is coloring the violence on both sides. they cracked down in a violent
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vision. this is have a deal with that. they put the hammer down and exterminate it. the new circumstances of the arab spring were not understood. the barrier field was broken by regimes falling in egypt and tunisia and libya. that galvanized along with the syrian population. the regime did not recognize the distress in a country that was the foundation for discontent with the regime as well as the years of corruption that the opposition and the people in general were willing to come up and rise up and face the regime. the regime instead of meeting the protests with real reforms -- that was probably wishful thinking. they try to do a little bit here and there. what they do well as crackdown on opposition. that is their comfort zone. they eliminated the opposition and they are doing that in a different fashion now. mabus it galvanized the syrian population. what the regime did not
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recognize was this as a economic distress. they're willing to rise up and face the regime. incident perhaps meeting the opposition and the pros tests -- and the tests, it was not in the dna to do that. they have their own foundation of power. they tried to doing little bit here and there. what they do well as crackdown on opposition. that is their comfort zone. there calibrating bloodletting
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rather than little by little. host: we have a tweet from rabbitran. guest: china is basically following russia's lead. china and russia are against any sort of dynamic change brought about by anything -- any western intervention. both feel there were duped in the resolution that authorized the use of force in libya. they think they were duped because these forces may be used to overthrow the gaddafi regime. russia and china do not want to be on this side of those that are advocates of outside military intervention based on moral reasons. they fill these resolutions could be used against them because of their own problems and their crackdowns of domestic population.
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they are pretty much hesitant to do that and to give a green light to the united states. host: we will go to mark. thank you for waiting. turn your television down, mark. let me put you on hold. john on d.c., a democrat. caller: i cannot believe you said you met with this assad and you thought this guy wasn't a killer?
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i mean, my god, these bad guys did not change their stripes. guest: i met with them but between 2004 and 2009. were we all wrong? perhaps. we're not psychologists. he implemented some things -- there was always a gap between what he was saying and what he was implementing. i tried to hold him account to that. i have written over the years and i started to see him change. and people do change. this is what often happens. they become comfortable with power. power is an aphrodisiac. i saw that he started to believe the sycophantic around him that equated the well-being of the country with his well being. he did not want to be like his father.
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he wanted to be different. i saw by 2007 the personality returning. i saw these -- those were red flags for me and danger signs. he cracked down on the uprising. this wasn't as surprising as it would have been, say, in 2004. if you become more comfortable with power in an authoritarian country, you become more comfortable with the authoritarian leader.
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i saw this happening slowly but surely. there were a number of events that gave him this arrogance of power. this is human nature. you tell people they are the greatest thing in the world and they will start to believe it. host: how did you come to meet him? guest: he brought a lot of different people into the government. not the typical of authoritarian ruling class. i travel to syria regularly and i knew a bunch of these people. one was a good friend of mine.
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i contacted him that i wanted to do this book. he was the atypical of authoritarian ruler. he was not groomed to be president. i thought that was and adjusting story. in 2004, i got a call that gave the green light. host: did you meet with his wife? guest: yes. she is very cosmopolitan, western educated. syrian born. she had a position on wall street with a leading brokerage firm. this created a profile of a modernized, westernized, pro- reform couple. she engaged in activities that led to credence to this profile in supporting women's rights in syria and across the region. i have not spoken with the recently. i suspect the same thing happened to her. they became much more
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comfortable and they are stuck. what can she do? she has to support her husband. they believe they are doing the right thing. they think they are saving the country. they think they're saving the country. we think is misdirection, but they actually believe they are saving the country.
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host: david lesch wrote this new book and he has written other books. he met with the syrian president and his wife in 2004. mark in indiana. caller: hi. i used to be a democrat. i changed to being a republican in the last four years. when these people need help, why are we sitting back and watching and waiting? that is not our policy and has not been for 50 years. whenever we could help a country that needs help and asks for help, why is obama sitting back and not doing anything? i know you said, wait and see, but that's not our country's policy. host: this tweet -- guest: the reports vary widely
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depending on the source. most believe at least 20,000 and it could be as high as 30,000. the reports are much less, from the regime. to the caller, i like the country of syria and have visited there on a regular basis since 1989. i have friends on both sides of the conflict. i have friends who died on both sides of the conflict. it's a beautiful country, a country that has a lot of potential. the people deserve freedom and prosperity and security no less than anyone else. if i thought military intervention would work, i would be a strong advocate. first, i am an american. i don't want to see our boys thrown into something that we don't understand and that could cause more have a and damage than solutions -- more havoc and damage,. with the complicated regional and
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international environment, we have to be very careful. we are just drawn down on two delores in iraq and afghanistan that many would say were a draw in terms of success and some would characterize as failure, especially into the future. we have to be very careful about introjecting our forces. ultimately, if the war in syria can be contained, there needs to be a serious solution to this. as i said, many in the syrian opposition are not pro-u.s., so we have to be careful. we cannot just throw our weight around as much as we would like to. and as much as there seems to be a moral imperative to do so.
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the opposition is so decentralized. there's no coherent group who we could support. we would be shooting in the dark to some degree. what would happen in terms of working across borders or iranian influence across the border? would russia start supporting the regime much more assertively and it would become more of a stalemate and more damage to the country and to the region? i think we need to get a better understanding of this before we start sending our boys in. i volunteer at brooke army medical hospital back in the day during the iraq war in san antonio, which takes our soldiers from afghanistan and iraq who were burned and maimed
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from explosives. so i see the end result of military intervention. so this is not something -- we don't need to have a compulsive reaction on our own. it has to be well thought out. host: you have been a consultant to the un on a variety of middle east issues. are you currently doing that? guest: i talked to a number of un officials. our discussions are confidential. it is my view that right now any sort of diplomatic initiative is a waste of time. it has become such an existential conflict, it has become so militarized on each side of the conflict that trying to put forth a diplomatic resolution is useless right now, because i decide is just not listening.
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un officials, from what i have been reading, new envoy brahimi, although qualified, he understands the impossible nature of his task. i think he has taken the right approach. he is going to syria and meeting with regime officials and opposition leaders, getting the lay of the land, making the necessary contacts and developing relationships so that perhaps when there is a time, hopefully in the near future, where a diplomatic initiative stands a chance of succeeding, then it can happen. but right now i don't see it. host: you don't think we will see anything coming out of the united nations this week? guest: nothing substantive. maybe in the general assembly, which is non-binding, sort of a slap on the rest against the
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regime. the russians and chinese are still committed to protecting the regime. host: on twitter -- guest: there is not an election, certainly since his father came to power. that was in 1970. they have referendums every seven years, which are called elections in syria, but usually it's only one person running. in this case, assad. it's only one person on the ballot. that's why they usually garner 97% or 99% of the votes. it is not a democracy. this is kind of -- overall, the results -- i hate to blame everything on the british and the french from world war ii one, but the artificial creation in any of these countries,
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these countries have not developed a national identity yet over the years, so they are stitching together vastly different areas. iraq should not even be a country. syria was stitched together. the only thing keeping some of these countries together has been military dictatorship or outside military intervention such as the british in iraq and eventually the americans in iraq. host: and independent caller in new jersey, michelle. caller: they said that many foreign mercenaries are in syria. the influence of foreign corporations, they will colonize on economic lines. here we have an open border and
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sanctuary cities. eventually, america. host: were you able to understand her question? guest: not really. i think the gist of it was foreign mercenaries and others crossing the border into syria, which is a concern. there have been reportedly groups from iraq who may be sympathizers with al qaeda,. they may have originally passed through syria follow in the 2003 invasion of iraq. the syrian government and was complicitous in at least turning the other way when these jihadists were going into
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iraq. this is the blowback of the al qaeda types in iraq going back into syria. they have established networks in syria and going into iraq, so now they have the temerity in coming back into syria. there have been reports of some libyans, some saudis, and others. the vast majority of the opposition are just conservative muslims or secularized muslims, most of them sunni arab. but as the conflict deepens, you might get more these wild cards that crossed the borders. extremist islamists ideology, this is how al qaeda folks are in their stripes, fighting in
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these types of battles, from afghanistan to iraq and other places and now perhaps syria. host: this on twitter -- guest: that's a good question. i have done some calculating in my head. the vast majority of syrians, if you think the opposition, military forces, active military forces, perhaps about 100,000 and there may even be 200,000 opposition acting as doctors or cooking for them or housing them, maybe 500,000 altogether, 300,000 active syrian troops and maybe another 500,000 in the government those who are vocal supporters of the regime, some paramilitary and malitia, what are the other 20 million people doing? for most of them it's waiting and seeing and trying to survive in the midst of the conflict. it's a good point in the sense that it recently the rebel attempts to take aleppo in the north, the main economics hub of syria, there were a number
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of native aleppo people who were upset that they brought the conflict to their city. and that in turn brought the regime's response on the city. it's much more complicated than many in the west see. it's not simply one against the other. there's a real grey area in between. st: on twitter -- guest: no. this is where u.s. efforts could perhaps be focused, trying to help the opposition coalesce.
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try to help the opposition form a coordinated body that is representative of syrians as a whole. they've done a better job of doing that so far. they've done a bad job of making many of the minorities feel >> piquancy "washington journal" every morning. this is at the national press club here in washington this afternoon. >> our mission is to provide leadership in the use and understanding of economics. this is the fourth in a series of economics here in 2007. this is the education
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initiative. our annual meeting in york next month. our semi annual policy survey. we released the results of the latest and pose a full copy on our website. we have hard copies available for those of you at the national press club. the survey provides a summary. this is on current fiscal, monetary, regulatory policy in the european debt situation. joining us with partners are fidelity investments represented here with lisa mattingly will make closing remarks. this is our effort to provide a policy forum for these presidential campaign advisers. we hope today's event will
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broaden the understanding of the proposals of prospectus with the debt and focus of a format like this one can provide. you can follow and participate live by tractor at #nabedebate. he is an adviser to the republican presidential nominee mitt romney and dr. jeffrey m.eba eat biographies are available at our website. -- their biographies are available at our website. it is our privilege to turn this are to aour co-moderators. judy woodruff has a way to speak with audience in a clear but never simplistic fashion. david is into millions of
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listeners through "morning edition" his new book on the deficit challenges. it is all yours. >> you should have made the introductions longer. you are on a roll. >> thank you very much. we are both delighted to be here. we know there are so many issues people are interested in. now more important than the economy. that is why we're really thrilled to be here to take part in this debate. the election is only 42 days away. with every day, more questions pop up. the more the public wants answers. the candidates debate start next week. i think our opportunity today to talk with these two advisers cannot be more timely. i am just going to start by asking questions that david will come after. we're going to go back and forth.
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we will see where it goes. we will be looking to the audience for you to ask a question. why did your candidate believe that this economy is not creating more jobs? what would he do to change that and make things better? >> we came through the deepest recession since the great depression. we were losing 800,000 jobs a month at the time when the president took office. we have been working our way back. we have added 4.6 million private sector jobs over the last 30 months. the economy is still not going fast enough. the primary reason for that continues to be insufficient accurate demand.
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if you ask employers why they're not hiring and so they give surveys consistently that they're not sure not that the consumers will be there next year. if you do not know if your customers will be there, you're not going to be hiring people now or building new factories. what we need to be doing now is doing for other things to get the economy growing faster. the president has proposed the american jobs act. it would provide small businesses with tax credits if they hire new workers are give raises to existing workers. it to a pet construction workers back to work building our highways and our bridges. it would prevent layoffs of teachers and firefighters. it would make responsible homemakers to have not been able to refinance be able to do so.
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paul ryan and the republican congress have bought the american jobs act. on top of that, by romney and paul ryan are proposing excessive budget cuts next year that would set a million jobs out of the economy just when we need to get the economy going. the president's plan at a million jobs. mitt romney's plans attraction million. there's a $2 million difference in what would happen. >> how would you answer that question that i will give you each a chance to respond. >> there is no question that both sides would agree that job creation is absolutely unacceptable. looking at things like the unemployment rate only tells a little bit of the story. before the crisis it is about 63%. this decline in the population
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that is employed is the biggest policy challenge facing americans in my lifetime. certainly we have had for policy challenges. no one would ever ask me about four policy. it is the biggest challenge. i think there really are contrasting views about what to do. first let's talk about the big picture, which is why is it that jobs are not being created in the u.s. we have insufficient demand for sure. as we saw in the answer and as we have seen in president obama's policy, when i was taking economics with a demand and supply curve. this has been really radical. i think it is both. one reason why if you are supplier you might be pessimistic is that we have got
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deficits that are just astonishing. we have a debt to gdp which is almost at the level that we had at the end of world war ii. there's just a report on fiscal adjustment that evaluated which once had the biggest problems. the u.s. was the third worst. we are worse than every country in europe. ec situation like that, if it is right for people to be anxious about the future. businesses pay 10% of the shortfall going forward and higher taxes, it they would have a negative net worth. you're not going to see a big expansion of supply. without that you like it expansion of demand. governor romney is expecting to get a fiscal consolidation that repairs are entitlements. also to influence short-term demand by reducing the corporate rate so that we are no longer
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the highest in the oacd. two places in the u.s. that are less friendly. -- banned the u.s.. redo their to places other than the u.s. that are less friendly. the present things we can ignore those things. i do not know how you're going to go. >> willing to get into these other questions about investments and tax policy. on what he said about jobs, response to the part that obama has only been focused on the demand and not supply side. >> that is not true. from day one he started working on controlling health-care costs in doing health care reform bill. it has set the stage for an ending. we have no health care costs.
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he treated people simpson -- bowles-simpson reduction of afford a very specific deficit reduction plan last year working with congress. he passed $1 trillion in spending cuts. there's a big contrast between the present specific plan to bring down the deficit and to do it in a balanced way with both spending cuts. this is a balanced approach. mitt romney has said no new revenue at all. he said he would not even accept a deficit deal that at $10 of spending cuts for every dollar and revenue. his proposed $5 shy and deficit increasing tax cuts. he has no idea how he will pay for any of this.
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this is very serious. the president has taken the deficit reduction problem. we have seen this movie before on the republican side with the kennedy's call for tax cuts for the rich and increase defense theyding and they told t would tell you how it would be paid for later. >> respond on his point about jobs. >> this is something that i think need to be more clear. gov. romney has a very detailed japato plan. it used to be that all respectable economists thought that was a good idea. if you look at the assertion that president obama that makes sense are at up, that is the biggest fraud i ever seen in american politics. what are they waiting away as their $4 trillion #? there waiting -- waving the
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president's budget. that budget was criticized by hardly a lackey of the republicans. there are $1 trillion in there because of the peace dividend. frankly when i looked at the $4 trillion, i wondered what they did not make it $10 trillion. if you look at the other phantom savings in the $4 trillion, there are all sorts of things like interest-rate savings and so on. this is accepted by every budget analysts. the thing that really rips me up is that he mentioned the stimulus plan from last year. he is blaming the republicans. there's a lot of blame coming from the other side. the position is that we need to
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invest more in shovel ready products. that is what he is saying. do you know where they advanced the money that it is with a $1 trillion peace dividend. you cannot both have the stimulus and the $4 trillion saving at the same time. you cannot do it. >> duty ask you that a question about jobs. -- and judy ask you a question about jobs. you started by saying it is obvious that there is a demand and supply problem. what is the romney approach to the aggregate demand? >> the approach is to have the tax side to broaden the base and lower the rates, a survey of economists that were surveyed. they suggested in 86 out reform would reduce growth over the
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medium term. i think that would be a little high but it is a lease in the ballpark. >> he said it will increase demand? >> absolutely. it will lower marginal rates and peoplincrease their consumption. governor romney has proposed a cut to the 25% which is less than i would like. right now if a firm was to locate investments, and this goes into g.d.p.. then they pay the highest tax. if they want located anywhere in the go, then they pay much lower rate. if reduce that to 20 5% without a phantom tax increase, that would absolutely dry that capital spending. there is not a business economist in this room, and the
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first organization i joined after graduate school [inaudible] there's not a business economist in assuring the city cut the capital re you not get spending immediately. >> how does the tax could play in aggregate demand? >> when consumers have more money in their pockets they spend more. it depends on what consumers they are. they're a different estimates about what actions are in their pockets. the also look forward. if they know the tax cuts will not be sustained, they will lead to large deficits and then they're less likely to spend them. >> what is the obama enter to inadequate demand? -- answer to inadequate demand? there's also something of monetary policy. ben bernanke has said that we have an unemployment rate that is way too high.
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he has proposed a way tthat he thinks would address that. if you the key is doing a good job and that this latest thing is in support of this economic growth and demand? >> they have better economic performance than this for monetary is criticized. there's a strong thought in this country that people on campaigns or associated with the executive branch do not comment on specific monetary actions of the fed. this is so important to the economic health of this country. i would say that nothing it has been helpful at all for the professional republicans. i think this is bad for the short term. >> i think there is a difference
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between politicizing in having an honest policy debate. i think the federal reserve's actions, and i have known that bernanke for a long time, i understand where he is coming from. i think that the fed's policy actions have exposed as to very little upside. i think it is absolutely almost patriotic to have a policy debate about whether it is a good idea to do what he is doing. one of the things you have to do is think about what happened that the fed next. about're trying to think who should be the fed chairman after ben bernanke, the only thing i can think of is david copperfield. if you do not a fiscal policy and control, then the fed's job is impossible. for the past four years fiscal policy has not been under
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control. that is light at the g.d.p. is looking what it did. -- that is why debt to gdp is looking like what it did. and that kind of environment, the fed has an impossible job to do. i think the big six offensive -- the big expansion, we have to talk about it. the fed is in an impossible situation because this policy is so broken. >> i want to come back to taxes. we touched on in number of different things. what would your answer to the question about whether cutting the tax rate is going to grow capital spending and thus grow jobs? what was your response? >> the president has proposed cutting the corporate tax rate to 28%. unlike governor romney, he has of eightting a group o
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certain ways you can pay for this. if it is paid for in revenue neutral, it would be good for the economy. tax cuts that are not paid for are almost certainly bad for the economy. higher deficits do more damage from the lower marginal rates. >> the fact is this is absolutely true. he did not call me up yet on that. is it really low-rent nell. that is one of the reasons why we have big deficits. the corporate revenue to gdp is so low because we have got this really high tax rate compared to the rest of the world. everyone can avoid it by
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creating jobs overseas. that is what they are doing. it is not taxable revenue here in the u.s. is a net oft's plan tax increase. the and the deferral and cut the rates 28%. the president's position is that we should start here. we are clearly on the wrong side of the curve. it is absolutely a five alarm fire in the tech space. the way to address that is to increase taxes. we fundamentally reject that view. >> i did hear the governor 60 minutes. he talked about upper income will not see their taxes changed over all. he talked about closing some loopholes. he did not go into specifics. he said middle income folks will
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not see their taxes go up. help us understand what the dividing line is in his mind? >> i am not a psychic. exactly where do you draw the line between middle and upper ?ncome deck in the income tax, it is mostly paid by the top half of the income distribution. most of the revenue is in the top 10%. people who itemize tend to be a lot wealthier than those who don't. if the have and $86 reform, you eliminate tax expenditures and lower rates in a way that can ultimately improve people's life. i know that governor romney has been criticized for not offering exactly which things he is going to reduce. if you look at the tax
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literature, there a lot of good idea proposals and a lot of places to start in negotiation that of the two and $86 reform. >> mitt romney has been very specific about the fact that he wants to give $5 trillion and tax cuts of our country cannot afford including $250,000 to each millionaire. this is after we extend the bush tax cuts. he has not named a single tax expenditure that to get rid of to pay for this. he simply says after the election we will figure it out. the tax policy center looked at this and add it up all of the fact expenditures. they said if you got rid of all of those coming given how massively targeted these are toward the rich, you cannot pay
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for them without raising taxes on people below to wonder thousand dollars. that is the intermit ronnie gave a more the divide -- amid romney give -- mitt romney aide to where the device is. this is going to raise taxes on the middle class. it is entertaining to watch the romney campaign react to the tax policy center study. the first thing they did it save the city left out economic growth. it turned out that they used one of his own advisers. there's no way for him to pay for his tax plan. then they put kevin on a conference call. they said this would raise gdp by 1%.
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there's an $86 billion hole, even if you get rid of all the .ax expenditures there is $86 billion hole. this get to about $32 billion. even when you incorporate economic growth you have a problem. they point out that it did not work. they both of the studies that were supposedly supporting romney's plan. those proposals showed they had to raise taxes all the way down to $100,000. a hundred% down to pay for ronnie's plan. the numbers do not add up. >> i guess i get to respond to
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that. >> 13 words or less. >> first of all, i have to say that the tax policy plan is the most partisan thing that has come out of the think tank in my buy time. i got that 9:15 a.m. and 11:00 it was in president obama's speech. the next day it was an ad appeared if you look at the choices they made was they decided that mitt romney had a deficit shortfall, it was the assumption that they made. how much do they have? the fact is that the notion that anything governor romney ever said would support the view that he would increase taxes by $200,000 on low income people is a lie. third thing governor romney has
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said -- everything governor romney has said is that he will have a revenue neutral reform. you are basically persian a campaign talking point that is inconsistent with everything he has ever said. you need to stop. if you think that it does not add up any cannot get the 28%, the right thing is that they would have a different change in rate. that is what would happen. governor romney believes he can get to 28%. when he is an office, that is what he will try to do. there's no way anybody believes you increase taxes $2,000. i cannot believe the obama campaign would say that and economist would-be presenting the stupid and inane talking points. it is wrong. >> when he says he will cut into tax rates by 20% across the
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board, but that is a lower priority promise. >> the first thing he always said which is accepted every respectable economists is that we need in '86 style reform. >> the accusation is that he said things that are not true. >> the accusations that he is saying things that he's promising to raise taxes. >> the candidate says three things. it is not possible for all things to be true. people are speculating on which one he does start really mean. the one he may not be able to keep is the one to lower income tax rates by 20% >> i am saying that if i were writing the steady and i found that when i cut the potential base more than half and said all the step is off the table, first
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you cut the tax expenditures and then you find you do not have enough revenue. the non-partisan tax policy center would say what kind of grade would you get? they would not say what is the tax increase of people below $20,000. >> we're facing a huge deficit problem. it is irresponsible for mitt romney to be specific about the massive cut targeted at the rich and not be able to explain a single tax expenditures he would be able to get rid of. >> coming from the guy who photocopied his budget as $4 trillion savings and got no votes in congress. he said he would cut this in the .ast election purity ha he knew it would harm the economy. now he is promising to do it again. the question is not what are the
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nuances. the question is why is it that you are letting a guy run with no plan whatsoever. is the economy still good that we can raise marginal rate? >> president obama has a board of an trillion region has a $4 trillion plan -- president obama has a $4 trillion plan of action bringdown the debt to gdp ratio. it is complete itemized in contrast to mitt romney he will not tell us a single thing. >> you made the point that you use 86 as an example. in other words, the governor thinks he can reduce the deficit without raising taxes. simpson-bowles says no.
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both say the cannot limit the tax increases to the top 2%. question to each of you. why, how is it that governor romney things he can bring the deficit down and not raise taxes and still do spending cuts that are safe for the economy and be politically acceptable? jeff,>> everett latinos that the problem is spending, -- everybody knows that the problem is spending, that if you look at a long-term cbo forecasts, revenue-to-gdp ends up higher than in the post world war ii. . if you want to get ahead of the curve, you have to go after
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spending. the governor cost proposal is what he would do the spending. matt jensen and i have a paper on fiscal consolidation that looks at the countries that try to do this in the past, and we found there were two types of countries that pursue fiscal consolidation. the successful countries tended to have consolidations that were 85% spending cuts and 15% tax increases. the unsuccessful ones were 50%- 50%. the president's approach if you go to the fancy mechanic to hide the fact they have big tax increases is about a 50%-50% plan. in polls since then, -- in bowles-simpson, it is about
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that. the bottom line is there are two the fax. one is the near term negative keynesian effect of the word ief --ng, and then the releas on longocus your firm's term -- york firms that did not occur -- affect seniors, you creep a sigh of relief effect said. i'd want. mr. kessler. he says no serious budget that.ts agrees with bacteri >> if you want to do a serious
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deficit reduction plan and be able to make the important reductions that will build a strong economy and create strong middle-class jobs, it has to be a balanced approach that includes cuts and new revenue. what the president has shown in his budget is if you ask the top-income folks to let their break go back to what it was under president clinton and if you cap the expenditures for high-income folks, you can come up with enough revenue that you can start bringing the deficit down and you do not have to whack the middle class. the president thinks that over the last 15 years the middle class has trouble before this serious downturn, and raising taxes on the middle class is not
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the answer. >> if simpson bowles to come back to the president before the election day, and if it were to come to the governor if he were elected, what would they do put the president has weighed in. but would he do if he had another bite at that at all? >> i will not speak to the president, but here is my guess . the president has put forth a budget that follows simpson- bowles. his plan cuts discretionary spending more. it cuts other domestic spending, health care, and agricultural spending, almost exactly the same as simpson- bowles. the president did not raise taxes as much.
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the president did not want to cut defense spending. the president thought this isn't -- the simpson-bowles social security cuts were too much. the president said he has a better plan. >> i think simpson-bowles is modeled after the reforms that failed, and we have looked into this. they failed for a couple reasons. one is tax hikes depressed economic growth and get people shelter to avoid the really tough changes to entitlement you need to have a sustainable consolidation. president obama, the thing he does not like about simpson- bowles, is you need to have
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higher tax expenditures. we're starting where it was designed to mimic the plants that have failed in the past, that we should ignore history, and the president is pushing it farther. prudent approach is a one, modeled after the lessons of the past. >> the piece of simpson-bowles that addresses defense cuts, the defense cuts have come up again as part of the sequestration threat that is out there and the fiscal cliff, which we can address. that raises the question about defense cuts. how much concern is there on the part of the president's that defense cuts -- and this goes to you, kevin -- that defense cuts -- to what extent does cutting
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defense cost jobs? i am thinking about what governor george allen is saying right now in his run for the senate in virginia. >> it is certainly a threat, and i would not want to give anyone the impression that i and stand what the right percentage of gdp is to spend on defense. the thing is that you -- marty feldstein wrote a piece talking about if you want shovel-gritty projects, then the natural way to stimulate the economy would be to turn the not up at the assembly line at defense plants because they are clever enough so they build capacity that we might meet in the event of a reason to ramp up military production. the president rejected that. the stimulus -- they did not follow the advice on higher
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defense spending. >> and domestic non-defense spending? >> there is nobody i think -- it goes back to econ 101 at harvard. gdp has cut government spending -- if government spending drops a lot next quarter and all else is equal, then gdp will go down, but that does not mean that we should go out and take money away from capital formation and spend it on -- i am not speaking for governor romney here, he has been concern of the decay of the nation cost infrastructure and has felt like we need to invest more in infrastructure. most economists think that infrastructure spending is not a stimulus plan because they are
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not shovel ready. it affects gp and job creation, but you cannot run deficits like we are without running. we're in the cycle of dependency of keynesian stimulus . if we do that we can grow again. >> one is we have to prevent the sequester from happening, and the way to prevent it is not to wave at it after the election. two, we just sat at our level of defense spending according to our needs, not as a job-creation program. we should think about macroeconomics effect, but the reason to justify our level of
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defense spending is not because it creates jobs. third point, despite the large deficits we are facing, mitt romney as said we should set defense spending at 4% of gdp. he has not justified this with any specific military program or security need. given the serious fiscal situation we're in, this is an irresponsible policy, and combined with 10 and pay for tax cuts is a threat to our fiscal health. finally, kevin raised the suggestion that one ramp up in defense production is a part of the stimulus act. during the transition, we were reaching out to economists on the right and left to get the best ideas, and i talked to
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marty and he suggested, and i talked to my deputy responsible for defense and security policy on that boat and be transition team to see if we could do the policy of ramping up production in the short-term as stimulus. they investigated and talked to the firms involved, and all the firms said we are fighting two wars now, are operating more at capacity. if you give us more money now, we cannot do that. in the take time to build the factories, and they could not read it appeared the reason we did not push that was we were told it was not feasible. >> let me turn to medicare. 'we have a spending problem and we have not talked as much about medicare. both candidates agree that health-care spending is unsustainable.
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medicare is not sustainable. the romney and bryan approach is to go to the premium support thing, where people would get a set amount of money and there would be competition among insurers for their thing, and the criticism of that is it would shift risk of health care costs rising too fast on the shoulders of the elderly. the obama approach is so far to rely almost exclusively on reducing payments to providers, at least as much as he has talked about so far. could you defend your approach to defend of care spending and why you think it is the answer to what you both agree is a serious spending problem? >> are absolutely right, we cannot have a health care spending continuing to grow at two percentage points faster than gdp. when health care costs grow fast but it affects workers' wages.
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what we need to do is to bring down health care spending is to change the way we take for it. we have to move away from our fee-for-service system where we pay hospitals and doctors or based on quantity of health care they provide, and instead, pay them based on the quality of care they provide, pay them per patient to take care of. let me give you an example of what is wrong. if you are a hospital today and figure out when you discharge patients that if you signed -- if you assign a nurse with a process to work with the patients, to make they understand discharge instructions, and you have been nursed ball up to make sure the patient is falling through after discharge, if you do that if his penchant it has a very good effects. they did not come back to that hospitals. hospitals that have tried this
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have lost money, because that nurse doing that intervention is not paid for. it is not reimbursed by medicare. the person not coming back to the hospital is lost revenue. the current payment system does not reward hospitals to do the right thing. if they work with diabetes patients or high blood pressure patients and do this preventive investment -- we have to switch to a payment system that rewards the quality of care and rewards coordinating care in a way from the fee-for-service system. the affordable care act, health care reform that the president passed, moves in that direction and lays the way for changes we need to make in payment reform to save money, not by passing costs, on the seniors, not by making across-the-board cuts, but in the smart way, making people healthier and saving
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money in that way. cbo says in the second decade of the affordable care act it will save $1.60 trillion, because to these reforms going affect, it will set the stage. >> it is an expanded entitlement that will cost taxpayers a heck of a lot of money, and everybody knows it. there are a million troops that made it look ok in the budget. if you want a thumbnail sketch of how bad it will be, look at what is starting to be considered by some of the states as essentials services. acupuncture is now an essential service. ric is now anr
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essential service. the idea is this a big expansion, this big new entitlement, will save us money, the idea is false. the governor as a proposal that in the long iran could get ahead of the curve by creating competition between firms. i think the competition between firms is the only hope we have. having a single payer that sides to pay providers less and then thinking that somehow that will not affect anybody's welfare is just a pipe dream. >> i would say that the ronnie idea that the solution to medicare -- the romney idea that the solution to medicare is buying insurance from health care is coming and getting interest companies a bigger cut -- is no evidence on that. odlilding on to helpi
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health-care costs -- the plants as we will to be a fixed cash amount and you have to buy from a private insurance or insurance package, and that fixed amount not grow as fast as costs. over time, seniors will have more of the cost of health care coming out of their pockets, and a recent study by my harvard colleague says that something for 50 years old today, $125,000 for additional payments over their lifetime. this method of cost shifting is not a solution. we have to make tough choices about fixing the payment system. passing the costs on to seniors is not a way to make it more efficient. >> terrifies exactly the disagreement that if you think a government monopoly that dictate
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prices to producers, cuts their reimbursement rates, and assumes it will not influence or standard of care, if you believe that is the pact to go down, in 10 years you will be waiting in line for every procedure. if instead you pursue a plan proposed by paul ryan and governor romney, what you are doing is you're deciding. the government monopoly is not the siding. firms are competing for your business. is the history and economics, it maximizes efficiency. >> taking up on the retirement age, 65 for medicare, and it is going up to 67 for social security. should it go up? what is the thinking on your side of the ledger, whether president obama or governor romney, jeff? >> the president said he does not think the social security aid should go up, that there are lots of americans who have been
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on their feet all life or a construction worker who has worked hard all their life, and now cannot do any more, and if those americans want access there's benefits at 62, but they should do that. the president is against raising the social security retirement age. >> and medicare? >> i am not sure. >> i am spacing out. isernor romney's plan present indexing. it is a sound way to restore balance to social security in the long run. frankly, as an economist, not speaking for governor romney, as we look out 50 years and think about what happens to the entitlement programs, if we start to have the gains in longevity that we might get, anyone reforming social sicker he will have to build in some kind of things that change as
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longevity does. if they do not, they will not have a system that is sustainable. >> the social security fiscal hole not as big as our financial challenges. it is not as big as the short- term budget shortfall. we clearly need to get a hat on this and deal with that. the way this country as dealt with shortfalls in social street is in a balanced way, revenue, benefits, and we meet in the middle and get the job done. romney has proposed a completely unbalanced plan. the implication of that if you look out 50 years there is a 30% in balance between social security lost revenues and its benefits and running will saw this on the benefits side. he is proposing an average of 30% benefit cut, and if he is
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going to protect low-income folks and disabled, where talking about somebody making $60,000 a year will get a 40% benefit cut from social security. the president thinks we should have a balanced approach, that we should ask high earners to pay a payroll tax on their earnings, and should not do it all to benefit cuts. >> one of the reasons that social security is busted is -- sosa surry is the easiest -- we are promising to pay future rich americans large benefits, and if you think about this as an alternative buffett rule, that we do not need to take big benefits to warren buffett, we do not need to bankrupt ourselves to do that. the fact is that there is so much leverage to be had with that observation that we do not have to have a tax hike. the president with the present
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-- the problem with the president is he is looking for anything to do a tax hike pi. >> i will change the subject, but i believe governor romney has said he will raise the medicare 8267, and i believe president obama offered that in the boehner talks, although it is not in his campaign proposals. before we turn over to questions, i want ask a question not involving the s. i am not sure there is a difference between that candidate on china. they seem to have been doing a lot of saber rattling. could he speak to what you think the policy of your candidate would be toward china as an economic competitor. >> most of the discussion in the campaign has been about two aspects of policy with china,
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about the unfair trade practices and the chinese currency manipulation. the president has worked hard in public and private, saying china needs to appreciate its currency. it did a couple years ago, and the currency has appreciated by 10%, but that is not enough. he needs to appreciate further. on trade practices, in 2009, the chinese started flooding our market with tires and threatening the u.s. tire industry, and president obama put tariffs on the chinese tire industry to protect our industry. wto looked at that and said those were appropriate. the chinese screamed loudly about this, and that ronnie took the chinese side and said we should not put on the terrace.
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obama has taken it up to six or seven different trade cases to the wto when that china has tried to dump products in the u.s. or otherwise at subsidized industries in a way that it would take over the market. obama has brought cases at twice the rate the previous president did. romney, who until about six months ago, which criticizing these policies, has changed his view and seems to be where the president is in thinking we should have appropriate actions to protect firms and workers. >> it is clear that governor ronnie believes that president obama is wrong in every way about trade. i believe the biggest thing he is wrong about is the notion we do not need to pursue a new free trade agreements with other partners, bilateral agreements,
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free-trade zones. free trade is one of those things for every economist agrees, one of the things that makes better -- that makes everybody better off. governor romney cost you is that currency manipulation and dumping and cheating is rampant and that no president before has been aggressive enough toward china. i am not a trade economist, and so going into the details of the steps he will take is beyond my purview of the campaign. >> saying the president is against free trade is not the case trade the president signed free trade agreements with countries, but did not get signed them until he made sure they had appropriate protections for workers. so workers who get work in the process -- get so workers who get hurt in the process that
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protected. it is important in the economy of free trade that we get a corporate protections, because if you believe in free trade but did not take care of workers, and the politics become impossible. the president has been moving aggressively to increase u.s. exports. he has set a target of doubling exports by the end of his term. he is on the way to meeting that target. what kevin said about the president not caring about free trade is not true. >> congress is being flooded with all these new trade agreements made with other countries. their agenda is full. , it is your turn to ask questions. we'll ask you to stand and maybe you can project. there is a mike there. do not be bashful. step up and ask your question. i have one note that i may have to sneak away earlier than the end of the program because in newshour,"gechor "the
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my colleague will take over. >> i would like to ask a question, how is it possible we have a president who has not had a single budget proposal approved during his entire presidency and he is allowed to spend $1 trillion a year and nobody is saying anything about it? >> that is not accurate. passresident's budget was ed in 2009. in subsequent years congress has operated in continuing resolutions, where they sat very precise budget targets and the agencies have to live under those targets. i agree the preparations process has been a mess the last two
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years because of partisan disagreements. there is not anything -- there is no out of control spending here trick if you look at a preparation the past four years, the party has grown at 0/3% annual rate between recent appropriations. under president bush a crew at a 9% rate. the idea that spending is out of control is false. the baby boomers are retiring. we have known since they were born that we were going to have to spend more on retirement programs and health programs at this point in time, and retirement of the baby boomers is raising government spending in this decade by 3% of gdp. it is true that spending is going up, but not because of out of control operations or
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decisions being made by this president. >> could i add that, make no mistake about it, washington is a crazy place. presidents have had to work with congress as with all sorts of stripes, and sometimes you show up at the game and you got the nfl refs and sometimes the replacements. if you look at history, president of both parties -- president clinton working with republicans -- have been able to lead and been able to lead by negotiating reasonable proposals with the other side and legislating that. the fact is this is a president with control of the senate that has reconciliation process so it is a post be easy to pass a budget has been unable to get there because he is so ideologically different from moderates and republicans that he is unwilling to sit back down and negotiate something that he
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gets sent to capitol hill and say no cherry picking. we have not heard that once. he is not saying that because he is outside the process. if we look at the showdown over the debt limit, where in the and the president was absent from the final deal. >> a short or bottle? rebuttle. >> shortly afterward, mitch mcconnell said my top priority is not to get anything done the next three or four years so that the president is not reelected. the republicans in the senate have filibustered just about every bill. we are seeing when the president makes common-sense proposals, tax cuts for small businesses,
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putting construction workers back to work, preventing layoffs of teachers and firefighters, things that have always been supported in a bipartisan way, republicans are saying no. as kevin said, a routine debt limit extension, the republicans try to make a financial crisis out of it. to say the president is the lack -- is the source of a lack of bipartisan agreement is a misreading. >> the proposal to change the way providers are paid and they should be paid by the quality of their care -- how do you measure that quality? >> that is a great question. some of the ways you do it and are built into the affordable care act are readmission rates. if you'd discharge people and come back in with the same thing, that is a sign they are not doing a good job.
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another thing that is built in to the affordable care act is infection rates. if you are a hospital and you are making your patients sicker because they are catching infections in the hospital, that is in metric. there are other metrics at the outpatient level, what percentage of diabetes patients have their blood pressure test their blood sugar control, blood pressure under control for hypertension. it is an ongoing scientific effort to develop the right kinds of networks. >> yes, i have a challenge for each of you. i would like to hear each of you tell me about three policies or suggested policies that the other candidate has that you agree with. [laughter] >> let's do one.
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do two?i dn i i can think of two right away. president obama helped lead on unemployment insurance or form that i was a big advocate of. jack reed wrote the bill in the senate. it might be one of the two things in his stimulus plan that he says he has passed, but it was something that i am on record as saying was a good idea pick something that he has embraced that was a good thing, was a proposal at while ago to think about base broadening in terms of capping the benefits deductions. that is one of the many base- broadening ideas out there that
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will be part of the next tax reform. i am not thinking specifically that one, but if i would have to two, those would be the ones. >> it occurred to me that we were not lucky that we had hall of fame moderator's here today to keep us from getting out of control. >> i am letting the crowd did not start sean in what they did. >> in terms of good ideas for governor romney, he is absolutely right we should be cutting corporate rates and doing it in a revenue-neutral way. my reading is you can cut some to 20%. you cannot go to 25% where he is. that is something one can work out later. yet it think where i thought governor romney was a visionary is he created the health
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insurance framework that became the affordable care act. recently, governor romney who had been saying he wanted to repeal and get rid of all the affordable care at said he wanted to keep the good parts treat he did not say exactly what those were, but i hope those are 98% of its. -- of it. >> i have a different way of asking the question about the deficit. revenue as a percentage of gdp has averaged since the end of world war ii, and 2.8%, with virtually no dispersant whatsoever. regardless of the highest marginal tax rates and changes in the marginal tax rates, for 10 years the highest rate was 90%. at that point revenue collected as a percent of gdp was 17.8%. right now spending has averaged
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over that same period over 20%, and right now we are at 24%. i would like to know at this point in time what your vision is for how big a cut government will take out of spending, out of gdp, what your part number is, and what is your target for revenue and how deep you get there? >> the thing that makes looking back at history not giving me answer going forward, is the issue that baby boomers are retiring. we're spending more on baby boomers. we have to come up with more revenue or cut other spending or we got to cut retirement spending. the simpson-bowles commission set targets for revenue of 22% of gdp -- sorry -- 22 per -- 21%
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of gdp and spending at 22% of gdp. the president is lower than that on revenue, but above the long- term average because we have to pay for the retirement and the aging population. >> this is the challenge of fiscal consolidation, to think about working these things through. as he starts to think about the numbers and what is a tax cut and what is not, you need to understand in a lot of the baselines you will see there is all sorts of revenue coming from creep.t if we make no changes, 50% -- 50 years out of everybody is in the top brackets. governor romney is clear he is shooting to have government top out at 20% of gdp, and there is
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ample room to achieve the objectives like that. if you do, a historical level of revenue would not be sufficient to balance the budget, but it would be sufficient to stabilize debt. >> my understanding is -- >> understand -- identify yourself, please. >> my understanding is that presidential candidate need huge amounts of cash to run these campaigns. it seems like it is inevitable that there will be a problem. if you take financial crisis caused by a weird fiscal situation, where regulatory situation, you would think that -- and both parties were involved with different presidents and congresses -- there is a question -- and given in light of this debate and the debate among the candidates,
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missing to be a divergence of views about what the facts are, but the analysis -- what the analysis is. my question is, what do you think it's possible about what we should believe that there is any chance for any rational, prudent decisions on fiscal policy, regulatory policy " on our national savings, because without an increase, there is no chance of substantial increase in economic growth. thanks. >> it is a disadvantage to go first. the thing it gives me hope is -- worked at american enterprise -- and you talk about campaign donors, and one thing i can assure you is that jeff and i are not being paid. [indiscernbile] >> but you are both writing big checks. >> the thing is, the thing gives
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me hope -- it is not just about this election, but thinking about nabe and people who have to say what is going to happen to the future of america, i work at the a mentor -- american enterprise institute, and we are a conservative place, often. look at who has come through aei trying to tell us how to run our fiscal policy. the swedish finance minister talks about the changes we should make, and he was right about the bill where most of us were, way to the right of the current democratic party. we had a former canadian prime minister here last week talking about what is up with canadian policy, and they have lessons from canada. it was the liberals in canada at who cut the rate to 15%, not conservatives trad.
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what gives me hope is the rest of the world has learned that a purchase like governor romney's are ones you should pursue, and the holdups are the democrats in d.c., and sooner or later you will have to cave in. >> it is amazing the idea of going back, not just going back to the failed policies, but then next decade with a solution was to cut taxes on the rich, that romney does not want to go back to then, he wants to double down on that. he does not want to just extend the tax cuts, he wants to give million there's an extra $250,000 tax cut. he wants to completely eliminate taxation if a u.s. firm moves its operations abroad. the idea that obama is someone as a person out of mainstream is
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not -- me finish. let me answer the real question. on the real question about why we should be optimistic, we face a big problem, but if it is not that big. if we do a balanced approach with new revenue and spending, like the president has done in his budget, we can solve these problems. after the election, i think congress and the president will not have a choice. they will have to come together and solve these problems because the alternative is to significant. yet the thing i would say more broadly is if you look back at how we got out of our last big deficit problem in the 1990's, we had major deficit-reducing legislation in 1990, 1993, 1997. we do not do it at once.
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it took several pieces of legislation to get the job done. it took some good economic performance as well. what that showed is the political process in washington does not have to be perfect. you can yell and scream for two years and the third year make 1% gdp progress. in the third years, you do not have to even hit a home run. over a decade, you can get things fixed. it would be much better in the next six months we deal with all the problems all at once. if congress and the president can start down this path, i think it will do a lot to make our economy stronger than it is right now. >> quickly, that answer highlights the challenge as well, in the sense that i think it is the case that the u.s. is
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the only country left on earth that is not have a territorial tax system. we are the only one left on earth. the notion that the obama campaign would be attacking having a similar trim and trucks treatment of foreign operations as the french and sweet as a radical to wait to business is strange to me. we have to get past this period of history, but i am confident we will. [indiscernbile] >> i will sneak away. i want to thank you all. it has been great. [applause] >> my question is more for kevin. from what i gathered, you advocated for less government spending and higher private- sector competition as a way to reel in health-care costs. i was wondering how that can be justified when united states,
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compared to most advanced countries, even less advanced 1/2 higher public sector spending in health care, can serve better and spend less than half than what the united states spends on health care? >> thank you for your question. one has to ask what is it that explains the sure near a grid of the american company -- economy over time. i think there's a piece on this that i find convincing, an international growth analysis. if you have a big government-to- gdp, your outlook is worse. it is a near-term effect, a keynesian positive stimulus, but in the long run it is bad for growth. my intuition or why that result is true is to fall.
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the first is in the end, and this is what economists call a sole model talking, it is the cool new iphone5 things that are driving unusually high growth. the second thing is, this is how can you can be like a person, if you want to have higher consumption, you have to say today. if you save today, three years from now you can have money in the bank and increase your consumption in the future. this thing is true for country. if you have a government that is running massive deficits, and when we tried to say so we can have a better future, the government is borrowing that money and spending it on what it wants to spend that means we will not have the resources we need to support higher consumption. the feud that a big expense of government spending to gdp would be prudent policy is not something that is supportable.
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>> under the budget deal that the president worked out with congress last year, we will take discretionary spending in this country down to the lowest level as a share of gdp since the eisenhower administration. spending is not out of control in this country. we absolutely need a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, but we have to do that in a way that allows us to continue to make the investments and our middle-class families, their education, infrastructure, in manufacturing, that treats the good jobs going for it. when you look at a budget plan like the governor's that in order to give $5 trillion in tax cuts for the rich, heston/discretionary spending another 20% beyond what is already in this low baseline, and where they did not specify how big a cut the spending and
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sable figure it out, that threatens middle-class investments that are important economic growth. >> the question of was -- what about health care specifically put his question was why is it that other countries have much bigger government as a share of health-care spending, spend less and have better outcomes, and makes -- and what makes you think we should go in the other direction? >> there is a big literature in the outcome observation that has a lot of measurement debates. the fact is that if your tourist is to adopt a system of government provision, single payer, then you can expect law lines and reduced quality of care. the u.s. has been a place with an amazing health-care system. most of the innovation has happened in our space.
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we have not had the government go in and cut costs and to take the people what they should do, what they cannot do, whether they should have acupuncture, and how much money they get the new drug. if you want to continue to have innovation, continue to strive toward yours, you have to have a free-market approach to health care as we need with everything else. my view is one sentence, to a large extent, a lot of the rest of the world has been free- riding on america, on air innovation, and if you take that away and think we're wrong to be better off -- >> this time of innovation has been remarkable and led by the u.s., a period when we had a strong traditional medicare program. going forward, strengthen the
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medicare so it is stronger than it is now, but not making it a voucher system. >> these are the last two questions. >> my name is jessica neal, i work as a department of defense contractor. tsd have had tost at h deal without acupuncture treatments. some treatments have side effects that acupunctured does not pick it can you tell me what acupuncture should not be covered? >> medical treatment for these soldiers to be decided between them and their doctor. having the government decide exactly all the things that we can do and cannot do it will end up limiting our choice and
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reducing our quality of health care. i absolutely think that going forward that if we socialized medicine, it will make us worse off, and it will cost a lot of money. i think the notion that we will get cost savings out of constraining people's access to doctors while we expand coverage of things is something that i would not support. >> no one is talking about socialized medicine. the affordable care act takes fromnor romney's a perch massachusetts that built in protections that companies cannot deprive people of care because of pre-existing conditions. it is a market-based approach. kevin ot know what means when he talks about
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socialized medicine. >> i wanted to provide a book and to this debate because at the beginning, both moderators' ask you specifically about what each campaign would do to spur job growth, either through hiring more people or investment. you both are economists, but i was wondering if you could play a small business persons or owner, ceo, and if you could walk through what are the biggest considerations that you think a small business person thinks before they make an investment decision or make a hiring decision? the considering whether the federal budget would be balanced, a sigh of relief the fact that kevin was alluding to four earlier? would they consider but their tax rates would become or do they want to know will there be enough demand for this good or service before i hire this person, before i make this investment decision?
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i was wondering if he could write those three or include any other considerations. >> because i am not the best actor, the national to address some of independent business survey some small businesses and asks them what their concern is. what you see is as the economic crisis unfolds and we have gone forward is the percentage of small business people who said that worrying about whether they had adequate sales, which i interpret as the man, whether their customers will be there next year, triple and that became their highest concern. it stayed up there as the highest concern since then. concern about regulations as the not gone up but all. it comes back to what i said at the beginning about this debate. we need policy now on jobs 3 we
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need to pass the american jobs at and gives small business tax cuts. if they hire new workers, and there is a big difference if we are worrying about the man in the coming year between the president's proposals that would add a million jobs and mitt romney's proposals that, because they are going to get access to budget cutting public shrink aggregate demand and cost us a million jobs. there is a clear contrast between the two candidates in jobs in the next year, and there is a two-million advantage on the president's psych. >> i would like to pause for a minute and think jeff and david. it has been a stability -- stimulating debate. once again, the stakes are
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clear. if you think that raising taxes on small businesses, a huge correction of small businesses, will create jobs, then you should definitely vote for president obama. if you think have the a fiscal consolidation, a 1986-style tax reform, if you think those things will create jobs, then you should vote for governor romney. we have laid out our differences, talked about how have that use leaded. president obama does not have a plan. he has a budget that did not get any votes from democrats, and has a top marginal tax rate that he refused to increase when he controlled the house. governor romney as a plan at a fiscal consolidation that is supported by a vast economic
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literature that says it will turn the country around. >> he asked a more specific question. in the hierarchy of small businesses, which matters more, the presence of demand or -- jeff came down on one side of that. >> it goes back to something said, the president said that his view is that it is demand. it is supply and demand. they are determined simultaneously. we have to create an environment where businesses are willing to hire again, to have the confidence for consumers to consume. you cannot say it is one kerf or the other. it is both. we need to have a plan that stimulates both with transparency and fiscal sanity in a way that create the preconditions for expanded
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supply going forward. >> there are drawbacks of these extended campaigns, but there was one big advantage because you get to see what decisions people make or what makes informed judgments about how they would act if they were president. what we have seen over the last four years is that president obama has consistently made the right decisions for american workers and for american families. he made the tough decision to rescue the audit industry when others did not think that was a good idea. he stood up to unfair trade practices from china, and he stopped -- he aggressively made it purchasable homeowners to refinance to prevent mortgage
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foreclosures. what we have seen consistently from romney is making the wrong calls and these issues trick he said we should let the trick go bankrupt. he said we should let that housing market hit bottom. he took the chinese side on tire debate. as we think about the choices before them, if they want to choose a president who will make the right decisions for middle- class families and workers, and not take us back to the policy environment that is based upon special rules, tax rates for corporations, and high-income people, and the recognition of wall street, the choice is clear. president obama is your trust if you care about a stronger economy for the middle class. >> do you want to make the closing benediction here? >> i would say i have the easy job today, and that is to say
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thank you to our discuss ions and our moderator's. it is about leadership, intellectual, economic, and political. the subtext is that we and the next administration, whoever it may be, face huge challenges. historically united states has found to democratic process and enlightened reflection the ability to make the best decisions and take the right path, albeit however tepid is. none of the past we have contemplated here today are easy. we know that. we really appreciate the discussions. nabe is committed to sponsoring these debates like this one. fidelity is also very interested
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in helping sponsor this debate. we know it sound policy, with suspected of fiscal policy, is a key ingredient for healthy markets. regardless of the upcoming election cycle, nabe will continue to post these discussions, most directly in march. we'll have our policy meeting which is from march 3 to 5 in d.c., so we will get a great opportunitywe are going to get t opportunity to talk about all of these issues in march. again, thank you to discuss sirs, the moderator's, and most importantly the audience for joining us and asking these great questions. thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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>> earlier today, the president left the white house and traveled to the united nations in new york, where he will speak later this week. some noteworthy speeches coming up that will be part of our coverage, tomorrow, president obama.
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wednesday, president of iran. we will bring these to you throughout the c-span networks and live on c-span.org. >> we are trying to encourage developers to really think about the information they need to truly make the app functional. if you are playing a game, do they really need to collect precise gaea location data?
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-- geo-location data? what information is needed to make it functional? who else should see it? should access be limited? how long do you need to obtain its? when your done with it, what are you going to do with it? >> they are still looking for more and more people to move into this industry and develop that. that is the biggest problem, i think, and a fear that people have. that in washington we will come in and tell people how to do their business and hurt a growing business. the only real fear was work. the rest is nothing but optimism. >> smart phones and privacy, tonight on c-span 2 at 8:00 p.m.
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eastern. >> tonight, republican george allen debates democrat tim kane for the open senate seat. he was governor from 1994 to 1998. mr. kane served 2006 through 2010 and is also a governor. the cook political report has rated this race a top -- tossup. you can see it tonight, right here on c-span. the first debate between mitt romney and barack obama is next wednesday, october 3. jim lehrer moderates from the university of denver. watch our live debate preview at 7:00 p.m. eastern, and after the debate, your reactions and comments. follow our live coverage on c- span, c-span radio, an online at
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c-span.org. next, the substance abuse and mental health services administration releases its results on drug use and health, measuring how many people are using illegal drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. this is just over one hour. >> all right, good morning. my name is dr. wesley clark. on behalf of samhsa, i want to welcome you all here. as you know, we usually
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coordinate the release of our report with the observance of national recovery month. this year's theme is joining voices for recovery, it is worth it. indeed, as we look at some favorable results from today's data, we are making progress, but we must remain vigilant in this endeavor on what needs to be done to provide quality service for those in need it. as we celebrate our 20th anniversary and reflect on the accomplishments of the agency over the past two decades, we realize that they would not have been possible without our colleagues in the field. particularly those who worked tirelessly in the trenches, providing help to those affected. so, let's continue to recognize the gains made by those who have
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achieved recovery and those who served in the remainder, and let's continue to increase the number of events celebrated this year, numbering nearly 1000, continuing to carry the message that the treatment is effective and recovery is indeed possible. i applaud your efforts and look forward to your continued participation. i would now like to introduce our administrator, pamela. since 2009 of november she has been leading the effort to reduce the impact of mental health disorders on the american community. she has continued to demonstrate that this is effective treatment and that people can and do recover from mental substance abuse disorders. administrator? [applause] >> good morning.
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welcome, everyone. thank you. in addition, i would like to thank the team and the recovery month planning partners that host hundreds of events every year that makes such a significant impact of spreading the message of recovery. i also want to thank joe, who oversees the massive data collection and analysis that we collect every year for our national survey, which relies on data survey -- relies on 70,000 people being surveyed around the country. thank you, joe. [applause] no small feat. this is the most comprehensive survey of substance abuse disorders and treatment in the united states. because of the statistical power of this survey, it is a prime source of information on the scope of mental health abuses facing the nation.
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i am pleased to be here with the office of national drug control policy. [applause] the director is one of the nation's most powerful voices for the prevention of substance abuse and support of recovery from the addiction. this is recovery month, where we are especially appreciative of everyone in the room and around the country interested in the message of recovery and what it means for those with mental substance abuse disorders and their families. it is also a month where, frankly, we go beyond recovery and commit to the wellness and support the full health and well-being of these individuals, families, and their communities. this morning you will hear about both of these issues. both the director and i know and
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can convey that these are public health issues as much as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and tobacco use. to address these issues, like other public health issues, we need surveillance data, analysis of risks, and access to treatment when needed. today's advance marks the release of the substance abuse portion of the findings. this indicates the overall health of americans by examining behavioral health indicators, such as increases or decreases in substance use independence. for individuals struggling with mental onus, addiction, and sometimes both -- mental illness, addiction, and sometimes both, what we often say can help them to write their
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own story of hope and healing. as one gentleman posted, "getting well and living well with a nurtured program of recovery is the greatest part of my autobiography that i have to offer." the data released today will shine a light on the status of drug use in america and help us all see where we are making gains and where we need to work harder to address these critical public health issues. no matter what the data tells us about substance abuse, it is released during this month to underscore that people can and do recover. it is in its 20th year in serving the nation. the national recovery month is in its 23rd year. we acknowledge and celebrate recovery from addiction and mental illness, with inroads to
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research and increase to validation through evidence- based processes, with thousands and thousands of voices across the country. we have rallied the nation. about this time two years ago leaders in the behavioral health field and samhsa went over the development of recovery. in consultation with many stakeholders, we have developed a working definition for the principles of recovery. i invite you to go on to our website and explore the work that samhsa and its stakeholders have done around recovery. just as it is a personal process and journey, defining recovery has been a process as well.
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now we're working with people in recovery from mental illness and substance abuse to articulate the differences and commonalities. we have agreed on the guiding principles of recovery through terms and concepts, like, person-driven, and peer support. many pathways, relations, culture, trauma, strength, responsibilities, and respect. later in the program you will hear directly from a few guests about their process of recovery. as you will hear, challenges are great and it falls on many, yet at the core courage and faith remains and sustains. before i highlight a few facts from a national survey, let me remind us all of the importance of these facts to our country's health. according to the centers for
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disease control, half of all americans will meet the criteria for mental illness at some point in their lives and half of us know someone in recovery for substance abuse. substance abuse disorders increase the risk for mental illness, hiv aids, and sexually transmitted diseases. they are twice as likely to die prematurely. behavioral health conditions lead to more deaths than hiv aids, traffic accidents, and breast cancer combined. this is a huge public health issue. it is critical that we know the facts. from the 2011 survey that we are releasing today, we know an estimated 20.6 million people, 8% of our population ages 12 and older were classified with some kind of substance abuse last year. an estimated 22.5 million
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americans aged 12 and older are current illicit drug users. amongst youth ages 12 to 17 it remains a similar compared to 2010. marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug. in 2011 there were 18 million past month users amongst persons 12 and older. we have to remember that these numbers translate into real lives. how young people especially are living their lives and it affects their well-being now and in the future. just last month it was reported in "the new york times" demonstrating that early marijuana use is linked to iq loss. adolescent on set cannabis users showed persistent declines. more persistent use consisted
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with more persistent declines. this is at a time when more and more young people think that using marijuana is not that risky. participants that used in heavily, from high school through age 38, scored eight points lower than they did when they were originally tested as 13-year-old. iq scores are usually pretty stable. those that did not or started as adults showed no real change. the point here is that marijuana use has an impact and is risky for our youth and we need to tell them that. [one person clapping] we have a believer. [laughter] this reminds us of our prevention efforts, which is especially critical given that there is a 2009 report showing that half of all diagnosable mental and substance abuse
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disorders begin by age 14, three-quarters by age 24. what we do with, for, and about youth is critical. the national survey being released today indicates that many of the levels remained constant from 2010 to 2011, but there were some notable exceptions. for example, the number of people aged 12 and over using prescription drugs for non- medical purposes declined overall from 7 million people in 2010 to 6.1 million people in 2011. the decline for 18-25-year-old's was particularly significant. this is the age group with the highest rate of use in 2011. 5%, down from 5.9% in 2010. the percentage of non-medical use amongst youth and adults
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remained unchanged. the non-medical use of prescription drugs has fluctuated within a narrow range over the past 10 years, but the fact that there was no significant change since 2008 for younger people aged 12-17 may indicate a problem that we need to look at. another important leading indicator that suggests a problem months young people is initiation and first-time use. bu the 2011 news estimates that 2.3 million persons initiated non-medical prescription drug use in the past 12 months. over the 10-year. , -- 10-year period, it has been a sustained rate of about 6000 new users per day.
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many of those may not go on to use non-medically again, but more than one-third of these users in 2011 were under the age of 18 when they first used. that is a concern. high rates of initiation lead to high levels of dependence, need for treatment, overdoses, and deaths amongst adults several years later. the number of persons with dependents increased from 936,000 people in 2002 to 1.4 million people in 2011, including 472,000 people aged 18-25. we have good news in this area, but also things that concern us. indicators for use of prescription drugs have been rising dramatically.
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i count that as good news in that we are recognizing this as a treatable illness and people are increasingly reaching out to get the help that they need. the number of people receiving specialty treatment over the last year for relief in pain relievers increased to 438,000 in 2011. turning to other kinds of drug use, the past amount of hallucinogen use declined from 2011. the past month tobacco use continued to decline as well, which is good news. however, the rates of heroin use and binge drinking went up. the number people 12 and over using heroin in the last year rose to 620,000 people in 2011.
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almost 54 million people engaged in binge drinking. over the age of 12, participating in binge drinking. we can change these patterns by regular screening for of all used in primary care and by brief interventions to help individuals understand safe amounts of alcohol use and binge drinking. or we can help the public, parents, and the youth by saying that getting drunk on the weekend is not healthy, cool, or accepted part of american culture. let me talk about treatment of addiction. in 2011, 21.6 million people aged 12 or over needed treatment. of these, only 2.3 million
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people received treatment at a special facility. often the reasons for not seeking treatment includes lack of coverage or inability to afford it. the good news is, we are embarking on a time when we have accessibility to the affordable care act, parity for services brought by the mental health parity and addiction equity act of 2008, and we are actively working on quality treatment through samhsa's efforts for a quality framework. again, i would like to thank you all for your interest today and thank you for helping to spread the message of recovery. i am going to turn the microphone back to dr. clark. [applause] >> thank you, administrator. i would next like to introduce the director of the white house office of drug control policy.
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since his appointment, he has been a driving force in implementing the president's national drug policy. in his position he coordinate all aspects of the federal drug control program and implementation of that policy. he brings 37 years of law enforcement drug policy experience and, prior to coming to washington, d.c., was the chief of police in seattle, washington. prior to that he was the deputy director for the u.s. department of justice policing services. thank you. [applause] >> good morning, everyone. thank you, dr. clark. i would also like to thank the administrator and the samhsa team that is here today. it is a real partnership that has been in place for well over
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12 years now. these are the important markers that we need to measure ourselves and our work by. it tells us what is working and remind this of all we have to do to keep the nation healthy -- reminds us of what we have to do to keep this nation healthy. i would like to go over this administration's approach to drug policy. since my confirmation, we have repeatedly affirmed that we are not waging a war on drugs. this bumper sticker does not anywhere near approached the holistic means that we are using. addiction is a disease. it is not a moral failing. it can be treated and recovery is possible. we have emphasized drug prevention programs to stop the abuse before it begins and have invested in partnerships for programs like drug free communities and the above the influence media campaign that
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helps to reach young people with prevention messages. with passage of the affordable care act, treatment is becoming increasingly integrated. we have created a branch of our office dedicated to recovery. that is the first of its kind in the executive office of the president. through the national drug control strategy, the country's blueprint for drug policy, we have spent over $32 billion at the federal level over these past three years. we are serious about strengthening efforts to reduce the demand for drugs in this country. during the national drug and alcohol addiction recovery month, it is a particularly good time to look back at the progress that a community has made. in june i spoke at the betty ford center about the importance of breaking the stigma that surrounds addiction.
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in the past we have seen recovery as part of the treatment, but we now understand that recovery is its own in valuable process and we are unequivocably ready to support the community for long-term drug use in america. the immediate transit track is important, but it is also important to step back and take a look at the big picture. overall drug use has declined by 30% overall in america. this list of results shows the we are making progress in america. from 2007 to 2011, we saw an 11% drop in the number of americans who had abused prescription drugs in the last month. in 2010 we produced the first
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goal of reducing prescription drug abuse by 13% over the last five years. as evidenced by today's findings, we are well on our way to achieving that goal. there is some welcome news for everyone on the road, for those seeking to protect public health and public safety. 3.7% of the population reported driving under the influence. a 12% decrease since 2009. while we have to await the national roadside survey, we are encouraged by the data that shows the strategy goal of reducing drunk driving by 10% by 2015 as going to be achieved. the 2011 data also pays a troubling picture in the rise of heroin use, a trend that monitors close -- warrants close
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monitoring. individuals may be switching from prescription drug -- drugs in this trend. there is an increased risk of overdose. we strongly support programs that the encourage the use of a life-saving over dallas reversal drug amongst respondents. we applaud effective collaboration for those who find common ground in overdose prevention. in today's competitive job market, and i started to see that the use of marijuana use amongst the unemployed was doubled that of marijuana use among employed americans. given the increasing perceptions of risk associated with this drug, it is important to educate young people about the long-term
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negative consequences of marijuana use in adolescence. that was evidenced in the administrators remarks. and we are making progress in our efforts to reduce prescription drug abuse and drunk driving. issues of longstanding priority are in our office, where we are heightened by those results, but i am relying did also of the work ahead -- also reminded of the work ahead. for a healthier and a safer nation. i look forward to working with our partners within government and out of government to build the america that we all want to see. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, director.
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i would like to introduce jared, a person in recovery. he can speak to the issues of prescription drug abuse and heroin. jared, do you want to -- [applause] >> thank you. good morning, i am 28 and a person in recovery from drug addiction. i just celebrated seven years of not using drugs last week. [applause] thank you. my life growing up was not that difficult, to be honest. i had loving parents and older siblings, and i did not want for much. around 12, my parents went through a divorce. even in the middle of that, i did not find it to be difficult. after a few years my father was
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unable to provide my mother with the correct support for me, so i began working at the young age of 14. it quickly became near full time by the time i was 15. while i was also playing sports and going to school, it gave me something to do and something to accomplish. maybe because i was already working and playing sports, but i never came across the temptation to do drugs at school at all. but within weeks of graduating high school, i tried my first drug. one we at a party i use a prescription pain reliever to get high. like others, i quickly became hooked. i literally became hooked that night. within a week, i moved to heroin, simply because of the cost. when i started using drugs, i had a good career. i was able to maintain being a
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functional attic for almost two years, but like so many others, it eventually took over my life. i started missing work, stop hanging out of my friends, started for to the fading in elective these. my friends? i did not have any. my relationships dissolve. fast forward to the summer of 2005. after years of using whatever came my way and living in an abandoned building, overdosing in florida, i decided it was time. shaking a little bit, here. i was in springfield, massachusets, in 2005. it was a difficult time and i hated it, to be honest. looking back, i would not take it or any of my experiences back for anything. i have maintained my
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relationships and they are stronger than ever. and i just celebrated my first wedding anniversary. [applause] i have a 3-year-old son who motivates me every day. and i also have 7-month-old twins, boy and girl for those wondering. i have already owned and sold my first house. we just upgraded. you may understand why. i just celebrated four years in business. i enjoy speaking out about recovery. i do it more for me than for you. giving back supports my recovery. if i can help one person, i am all for it. i have done dozens of engagements and i hope to help stop problems before they began. i now work part-time for the
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massachusetts organization for addiction recovery as a recovery advocate. i would like to thank them for giving me this chance today. i am looking forward to celebrating many more years in the program. thank you for allowing me to share. [applause] >> thank you, jarrett. good to hear. although your story is a very important story, as a parent, taxpayer, advocate businessman in recovery. i will also like to introduce another person in recovery and another leader of young people. benjamin? [applause] >> good morning. thank you for the kind introduction.
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standing here today, sharing my recovery story, my name is benjamin and i am a person in long term recovery. for me that means i have not been using drugs for a little bit more than four and a half years. as a result, i have been given the opportunity to live again, create new and meaningful french ships, pursue a college degree, and reconnect with my family. most importantly, recovery has given me the ability to use my voice and experience to make my experiences available to all young people. we are an organization for and by young people in recovery, mobilizing to empower the voices of young people in recovery. putting an end to discrimination and using support
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services for every young person that needs help. hi first used marijuana and alcohol by age -- i first used marijuana and alcohol by age 13. as a result, i have experienced the absence of the success of recovery support services. at 15, i was court mandated to my first treatment center. as a struggling teenager i experienced firsthand the major gaps in care and support for young people looking for recovery. there was no alternative peer group or option to attend recovery high-school or social i activities. my struggle continued for the next few years. at 99 was sent to incarceration. i would like to make a point that the state of new jersey invested heavily in my addiction. tens of thousands of dollars, at
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least. for many young people with my same health conviction, my friends and i were living proof. so that more young people to experience what we knew. we volunteer and our role models in our communities. in these tight financial times, there is support for young people where we can save lives and resources. since joining the recovery community, i have been living a life beyond my wildest dreams. but this could not have happened without support. my sister and my mother are both part of the recovery community. my sister has been a beacon of hope and example of the power of recovery in her community. my mother has also been in recovery for over six years.
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she participates in support groups for parents of children with addiction. recovery is a journey that we do not take a loan. supported by peers, people with the same experience regardless of my age, six months after release i was welcomed rutgers university. the recovery house on campus has forever changed my life. it has made me more successful at school, giving meeting travel mentors i needed for my recovery. today i work with young people across the country as a recovery advocate. we are speaking out for more youth-focused recovery support
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services. today, september, year round, i join you all to take action so that one day soon there is a community waiting to help you. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, benjamin. i like the statement that you made. to paraphrase -- recovery, beyond your wildest dreams. next, peggy, the director of the institute of homeless, collaborating with the programs in new jersey. >> i am so pleased to join you today to mark the observance of national recovery month and to bring more attention to the critical recovery element for people with mental health and
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substance abuse challenges and it has gone on for years. it started with my own and i brought it into my life and work. people served by the public mental health system -- not served by the public mental health system died decades earlier than they would have. increased morbidity amongst this population, preventing substance abuse, smoking, obesity, and inadequate access to quality care. however, addressing wellness can reverse this horrible trend. the truth is that chronic illnesses are to blame. we must take care of our bodies and other components, there are
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additional tools to expand their recovery toolbox to support all dimensions of themselves and their recovery. the idea of wellness is not just the absence of disease and illness, but the presence of haping -- having purpose in life, so that we can get up and work on our recovery, satisfied by having access to work and play and through the relationships of people. while it is thinking about ourselves much more than our disabilities, there are other things that historically defined us. through the wellness initiative, which i am so proud to be part of, we envision a future in which people with mental and
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substance abuse disorders pursuit optimal health, happiness, recovery, and a full and satisfying life in the community. >> the recovery is very multi dimensional. environment, occupational, and intellectual, as well as physical aspects of ourselves. we call this the eighth dimension model of wellness. this is how be conceptualized it. we care about it because people are sick and dying 25 years before the general population. we care about intellectual wellness because we need healthy minds and bodies and the knowledge to reclaim and manage life in recovery. we care about social wellness because the conditions bring
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people further from their health and recovery. we care about spiritual wellness because of disease, which robs us of our sense of meaning, purpose, and spiritual connectedness. we care about mental and emotional wellness because people need clear lines to pursue recovery. we care about environmental wellness because it is impossible for people to feel better or well in places or spaces where there is overcrowding, stress, pollution, and other toxins. we care about occupational wellness because we need jobs to fill our days, earn income, and yes be taxpayers as well. we care about financial wellness because we need stable income and savings in order to live comfortably.
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people consider unwellness in these dimensions because of mental and substance-abuse issues, but they are all connected. it can leave people shot in, leading to emotional and wellness. job loss, very significant, impacting occupational wellness with text from the financial dimension, leading to reduced care. stress affects all of these dimensions in many, many ways. wellness is maintained at the individual level. we have set habits and routines where we need to say -- reducing bad habits, praying, meditating, reading the newspaper and internet, as well as saving for a rainy day. this can build resiliency and
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the ability to bounce back. most of all of us here in this room will have episodes of illness, lose a job, loved ones and close relations next year. this gives us the ability to realize their potential. during national wellness week each september, we celebrate each of the dimensions that week. our focus is on individuals, organizations, doing activities and events to carry us through our recovery. we carry them into our life and community. besides organizing wellness programs and activities, we hope that people will take the pledge for wellness as people in recovery, peer leaders, an organization leaders that will lead to the quality of life and more years live. this last week's net -- wellness
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week has brought a wonderful response. and this year it followed me wherever i went and it was exciting to hear about the many things people were doing. as it only occurs once per year, we should celebrate and promote wellness each day. i would be happy to share ideas and think about activities you can look at in the eight dimensions. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, peggy. health, happiness, and recovery. finally, i would like to introduce denise, the honorary chairman for national wellness 2012.
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[applause] >> good morning. yes, this is a great day. my name is fanny sanderson. last week individuals around the country marked the second annual national wellness week during national recovery month. i was delighted to represent and promote this important issue and inspire others to embrace wellness and may get a daily part of their lives. why does well in this matter? my brothers and sisters, who like me, are dealing with mental health and substance abuse challenges, they are dying decades earlier than the rest of the population due to preventable illness. this is personal to me. things like diabetes, health potential, cardiovascular
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disease. they are silently killing our loved ones and friends with behavioral challenges because they mistakenly think that our mental and physical health are not linked. they are wrong. the mental and physical health is well connected. it can help us to live longer lives. the better that we take care of our wellness, the better our physical health will be and the more successful our recovery journey will be as well the. thank goodness that the wellness initiative promoting national conversation to reverse this horrible trend that not only affects individuals, but their families and friends and entire communities. personally, i have spent the
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last 27 glorious years overcoming clinical depression and heroin addiction. low self-esteem and trauma caused by teenage rape and abusive relationships. my journey through recovery is not easy, but i keep moving forward with faith and confidence, realizing traits i never thought i would ever live to achieve. oftentimes people with mental health and substance abuse challenges are told that they can never recover or a back to work, or have children. in other words, never have a life worth living. they are told not to talk about their problems. instead they are quiet and they keep their health issues secret. i am here to testify that secrets can be as harmful and hurtful as the behavioral health challenges that they have.
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i understand the harm fulness of secrets. since beginning my journey, i have dedicated myself to helping others in sharing their secrets and stories, freeing themselves to raise recovery and improve their well-being. i know that it is what saved me. expressing my truth was therapeutic and it offered me a life, the life i have today. a big part of what i do now is hold hope for those who have given up hope, those who have given up on themselves. hope is the beginning. my passion, purpose, and responsibility as a woman who died and kept coming back after a heroin overdose is to spread that hope using the god-given talents he has given me. artistic expression can be an essential part of building hope
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and keeping us on the path to recovery. through the written word and spoken word, my books, articles, shows and plays, i have been able to share my story and heal my soul after decades of battling depression and addiction. with help, i am winning. oh, yes. [applause] each year, the national wellness week offers people in recovery, peer leaders, organizations and communities a platform to share cal was wellness efforts and activities that take place every day, impacting the lives of people for the better. i have seen and experienced firsthand the hope that emerges when people discover the power to change their lives for the better. i look forward to supporting that hope as it takes shape throughout this month and beyond. it is a journey.
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last friday hundreds of people joined in a line dance for wellness. this was one of our initial -- initial well this week activities, which i would like to share with you now. it is called -- i cannot turn back now. i cannot turn back now. i have come too far from that dark and lonely place, a mask on my face, wanting the world to think i am fine and ok, perpetrating a fraud day after night after day. family and friends care, but i shunned, turned away. leave me alone. maybe i was born to die this way. in the stillness of a hopeless night, i raised my fist to heaven and shouted repeatedly but at the end of the tunnel i
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was promised light. it became a whisper and a whimper as i cried myself to sleep. now i am in too deep. that next morning it was different and strange. a woman made me laugh and cry, telling her story of triumph. she said that people gave me hope, help me to do what i could not do alone. my nose is running. cold in here. thank you very much. without her, my recovery began with help, i said to whoever answered the phone. i began my search to discover the real meat, drawing, public
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speaking, writing and vocal classes, my dream rekindled one day at a time. i wrote my life experiences, strained with pain, watching my stories come to life as they are acted out on stages. i have seen an inner confidence and hope of my future rising up inside of me. i know how late caged bird must feel after years of being trapped and being finally set free. i still speak the secrets that died in the light of exposure, helping me to heal by my passion, purpose, and closure. you see, i cannot turn back now, i have come too far in that dark and lonely place. living well, to live longer, standing free. the light that i search for was
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right here all along, inside me. thank you. [applause] i hope that whether you draw or dance your way to wellness, each of you will take the pledge for wellness on the website and do something to live well and longer by improving your wellness. please visit the initiative website, www. samhsa/gov. wellness. no. 4. what? to find out more about national well this week and learned about the activities held in communities around the nation, there are great resources there for the wellness initiative partners and office of women's
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health and initiative. do not forget, signed up for the wellness initiative e-mail updates to receive helpful information about wellness and national wellness week. i want to thank samhsa for leading this national effort to educate people about this problem and for promoting simple wellness and recovery solutions. i think you immensely for giving me the opportunity to share today. i know that hope is contagious and through national well this week efforts, it should spread. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, denise. again, recovery is not just about the absence of drug and alcohol use, but of hope and
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wellness. so, before we go to the question and answer session, i would like to thank everyone who has made this year's recovery month possible. not only those celebrate and recovery, but also the individuals who have organized these events across the country. there is much to celebrate this year. the educational outreach that encourage the effectiveness of treatment and the possibility of recovery is a message that we need to deliver all year long. thank you. now we will entertain your questions. [unintelligible] >> is it on?
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>> it is on. >> i am deaf, to. and -- too. also a person in long-term recovery. i have been clean and sober for over 30 years. [applause] i got free when i was 23 and in the marine corps. i have seen a lot of action in recovery. but we still fight for civil rights in virginia. we have a state where they want to go backwards. the federal government can do a great job intervening in the delivery of recovery support services. to me, it would make sense to make them spend a small portion on recovery support services to include housing, a critical missing element in recovery. missing element in recovery.

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U.S. House of Representatives
CSPAN September 24, 2012 12:00pm-5:00pm EDT

News News/Business. Live coverage of House proceedings.

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